Masculinity In Giovanni's Room

599 Words3 Pages
Masculinity was a very big deal to men all over the world in the 1950’s, not much less than the men of today’s society. Especially for David, the main character of James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room, who was experiencing some feelings that may cause him to question his masculinity. David’s guilt over these feelings affect the reader by making them feel his guilt as well. Baldwin shows David’s guilt through his use of syntax, diction, imagery. The use of syntax, or sentence structure, helps the reader better understand why David feels guilty about his sexuality and its effect on his masculinity. He verbalizes his thoughts, saying: “Sometimes I thought, but this is your life. Stop fighting it. Stop fighting. Or I thought, but I am happy. And he loves me. I am safe” (Baldwin 88). Here Baldwin uses short, concise sentences to show David’s inner struggles and his guilt about loving Giovanni and how he wants to accept himself, but he wants to keep fighting it at the same time. He wants to stop fighting, because he knows he is happy and it is his life to live. Another example of how sentence structure shows the audience how David’s guilt is gnawing away at him is: I felt nothing for Giovanni. I felt terror and pity…show more content…
Baldwin writes, “I knew I could do nothing whatever to stop the ferocious excitement which had burst in me like a storm” (Baldwin 42). The diction in this sentence shows the readers how guilty David feels as he describes his love for Giovanni, a frenchman that he meets and falls in love with, as ferocious excitement and a bursting storm. David says that he couldn’t even pretend to be sorry that Hella, his fiancée, was off in Spain. Even though he wishes he was upset that she is away, he can’t be because he is too busy loving Giovanni. The descriptive language used by the author helps the audience comprehend David’s guilt on his sexuality and its effect on his
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