A Gathering Of Old Men Essay

914 WordsJun 29, 20114 Pages
A Gathering of Old Men A Gathering of Old Men is a novel that was written by Ernest Gaines in 1983 that surrounds the shooting death of Beau Boutan a Cajun farmer on Marshall’s plantation located in Louisiana. Throughout this novel there are many transformations in characters attitudes, but the one character that stands out the most would be Charlie who worked closely with Beau Boutan. This particular novel uses multiple narrators such as blacks, whites, Cajuns, and the old that expresses the different relationships between this Louisiana community during the 1970’s in the south. Due to the fact that Cajuns disliked blacks, it was very obvious in this novel that blacks lived in fear. The author Earnest Gaines tends to cite the importance of writing this book in the form of storytelling to express the painful past events of the old men involved (SparkNotes). In addition, Gaines also stated that he grew up around people that told many stories while living on a plantation in order to recreate the rich thick black culture of most black communities (SparkNotes). Earnest Gaines also believed that blacks were normally denied freedom to learn and read, so storytelling would be the only way blacks new to define themselves. Critics of Earnest Gaines in regards to this novel, cover issues surrounding the southern dialect used that only southerners could understand. Many critics believe that northerners and people that are not familiar with southern dialects would not follow the story very well. Further along in the analysis of this novel, I will show why it was important for Gaines to use southern dialects to identify the characters and why it was wise for the old men to arm themselves against the Cajuns. As a reader in regards to the different dialects used in this novel, would offer more understanding about the different educational levels of most people in the south. The

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