Homoerotic Love In Giovanni's Room

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Yasmin Y. DeGout wrote an essay in the African American Review entitled, "Dividing the Mind: Portraits of Homoerotic Love in Giovanni's Room" (1992). In her essay, DeGouts argues that in his book, "Giovanni's Room", author James Baldwin depicts homoerotic love in two contrasting ways: as a natural yet tragic interaction between the protagonist and his love interest and as an atypical type of relationship caused by a result of David's past. DeGout supports her argument by, first, discussing society's views on homosexuality during the time period of Giovanni's Room as evidence of Baldwin's two depictions of homoerotic love. DeGout discusses the process of Baldwin's theme in his book and how his editor suggested that he destroy his manuscript,…show more content…
Abur-Rahman wrote an essay for the African American Review called, "Simply a Menaced Boy: Analogizing Color, Undoing Dominance in James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room" (2007). Abur-Rahman argues, in her essay, that Baldwin's work, Giovanni's Room, is important because of its theme of self-love and sexuality. Abut-Rahman starts supporting her claim by discussing the circumstances involving the publication of Giovanni's Room. She discusses the success of Baldwin's first book and how African Americans felt empowered. They associated themselves with heterosexuality in order to coordinate with the norm of the average American citizen. She discusses the controversy of Giovanni's Room and how it was criticized for not featuring black protagonists and explored homoeroticism instead. She notes how Giovanni's Room was doomed to fail due it's theme and the time period that the book was published. However, Abur-Rahman defends Baldwin's work, stating it's importance. She discusses the protagonist, David, and how he continually struggles to accept himself. She notes that David was in self-denial. Abut-Rahman addresses the claim that homosexuality is exclusive to white individuals, and argues that Giovanni's Room's theme of homoeroticism can apply to black individuals as well. Since Giovanni's Room contains a theme of struggle for self-love, Abur-Rahman argues that Baldwin's can relate to black individuals as well as white individuals. She argues that Baldwin's choice of homosexual white characters does not necessarily exclude black readers as the audience. Abur-Rahman's purpose of her essay to inform readers of the significance of Baldwin's "disappointing" second book and how it is not exclusive to white homosexual readers. Evident from the essay's scholarly tone, Abur-Rahman is likely writing to
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