Giovanni's Room Analysis

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In Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin the lost soul that is David would much rather “play it safe” than live his best life. He does this because he has grown to be ashamed of his sexuality and who is in general. The author of this novel James Baldwin once said “love takes off the masks we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.” Since David is ashamed of himself he pretends to be someone he’s not and hides behind this “mask” of deceit in order to feel secure his body and in the unaccepting society he lives in. He grows so accustomed to this mask that he rejects love and the nakedness of vulnerability that would come with taking off this mask. Staying behind this mask to be who society deems as “normal” is David’s way of committing …show more content…

After Giovanni loses his job David and Giovanni’s relationship starts to go downhill and David continues to despise the room. When David gets word that Hella would be coming back to Paris soon he says “I felt a certain relief. It seemed that the necessity for decision had been taken from my hands. I told myself that we both had always known, Giovanni and myself, that our idyll could not last forever” (Baldwin 94). David feels relieved that Hella is coming back and that when she marries him he won’t have to deal with his true self or Giovanni much longer. David doesn’t even love Hella. She’s a part of the mask he’s hiding behind; their relationship is a lie. Immediately after reading this letter David sleeps with a woman named Sue almost to convince himself that he is society’s “normal” straight individual. He compares having sex with Sue as “a job which it was necessary to do in an unforgettable manner” (Baldwin 100). David only has sex with her to justify his reasoning behind leaving Giovanni for Hella, which is he “can have a life with her” (Baldwin 142) but can’t have a life with Giovanni simply because Giovanni is a man. David questions what type of life men can have together, he finds the idea to be absurd because it doesn’t fit society’s ideal couple with the set in gender roles. Giovanni calls David out and says “you lie so much, you have come to believe all your own lies” (Baldwin 140. In the end David chooses to keep on his “mask” over Giovanni’s

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