A Literary Analysis Of James Baldwin In Giovanni's Room

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This literary analysis will analyze James Baldwin’s intention of locating the “outsider” in the context of homosexuality and African American expatriation in the novel Giovanni’s Room. The article by Abur-Rahman (2007) defines Baldwin’s intention of locating a place for the “outsider” through the context of homosexuality and African American expatriation in European life. Baldwin’s own experiences as an American exile in France are defined through his own identity as a homosexual male, but also, as a racial minority seeking a place of sanctuary outside of American culture. Abur-Rahman (2007) defines Baldwin’s intention of depicting the white characters in the novel as a counterpoint to the alienation of homosexuals, as well as the increased burden of racial identity he had to carry in life. Giovanni’s Room…show more content…
David is a young American male that has decided to leave America in the hopes of finding a new way of life in Europe. David’s experiences in Europe form the “expatriate” view of homophobic American life, which seeks a more open society/culture in which to experiment with sexuality that is less judgmental and more mature. The plot of the story revolves around David’s sexual confusion, which is based on choosing to marry his girlfriend, Hella, or to pursue a relationship with the gay bartender Giovanni. After proposing to Hella, she returns to America. David soon finds himself involved with a man named Jacques, which allows him to experiment by going out to homosexual bars, such as Guillaume’s gay bar. During this experience, David meets the gay bartender, Giovanni, and it inspires a friendship, which soon turns into a love affair. Of course, David is continually feeling shame at being gay, which defines Baldwin’s intent on showing how American men feel in the sanctuary of a less homophobic
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