A Gathering Of Old Men Analysis Of Two Characters

483 WordsApr 12, 20122 Pages
Courage vs. Coward In A Gathering of Old Men, Mathu and Reverend Jameson reveal their contrasting characteristics as life threatening conflicts evolve throughout the story. Reverend Jameson is a sorry little preacher who has never stood up for anything or anyone in his life. He would rather cower in the corner and “never (raise) his eyes” than do something that could risk his safety. When Mapes calls him up to be interrogated, he demands Jameson to speak up. Jameson instead “remain(s) quiet… and never raise(s) his head” (71). Mapes then hits him and he falls on the ground. Jameson looks up like a “little dog would look up to its mistress” (71) to see if anyone would possibly help him. If he was Mathu, he would have had the entire town jumping up in to his aid. Unfortunately, because of his cowardly presence, nobody “showed him (any) sympathy” (71). Mathu has just about the opposite reputation in the area. The people respect him like they “don’t respect too many (other) men”(178). No matter what color the person is, black or white, they look up to Mathu. This is mostly because he has “always stood up” to anyone and for anything he believes in. The people honor him to the point that they would rather “die with him” (179) than do him wrong. Surely if he was in the Reverend’s spot in that moment, he would have received more support than he would ever need. Actually, the reason why the group of old men has gathered there in the first place is because of him. Even though Mathu murdered another man, his followers still stay by his side, everyone with their own shotgun. Of course, the only misfit is Reverend Jameson, who “(is) the only man there who doesn’t have” (51) one. Mathu is a proud man. He is proud of who he is and what he believes in. He never second guesses himself and stays true to his morals. Mathu never backs down and “stands up to anybody who tries to do him

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