The Gathering Of Old Men Analysis

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In The Gathering of Old Men, by Ernest J. Gaines, and The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison, the authors follow the story of different black communities and how they are affected by oppression. In The Gathering of Old Men a white man, Beau, is found dead in a black man’s yard, Mathu. Mathu’s ‘daughter’ brings together all of the black men in the surrounding neighborhoods to say that they were the ones who shot Beau. In The Bluest Eye a black child, Pecola, is oppressed in many ways throughout the story and near the end is raped by her father. The most substantial part of the story however, is afterwards and how she eventually becomes insane from the onslaught of oppression she faced. The commonality that these two stories is the use of characterization…show more content…
Such an emotion would have destroyed him. They were big, white, armed men. He was small, black, helpless. His subconscious knew what his conscious mind did not guess – that hating them would have consumed him, burned him up like a piece of soft coal.” In the fear that he might have impregnated her, he runs away. This is his coping with it, he runs away just like his father and mother did. Due to the fact that he never had a loving family, he ends up raping Pecola. All his life he has been oppressed and learned that you can’t blame the oppressors. The only thing you can do is pass the oppression along. He is the symbol of the perpetuation of oppression and how it cannot be solved. It is a constant, vicious cycle. Gaines uses a similar characterization of one of the main characters in A Gathering of Old Men. Mathu, an old black man, has a very emotional and rage filled scene. Once he gets word that Beau has died and the other black men in the community are getting together, his wife tries to stop him and they get in a very heated argument, “You touch that phone, woman, somebody’ll be patching your head.’ ‘Just wait’, she said, going back inside. I caught up with her , but…show more content…
In The Bluest Eye the majority of it is taken place in Lorain Ohio in the year of 1941, before there were any MLK movements so racism and oppression were still at large. More specifically they lived in a suburban town made of mostly black communities with few white people. The main characters all have pretty bad living conditions. This is due to the cycle of oppression, they started off in a bad place and kept giving and receiving comments that made them seem insignificant. For example Pecola got harassed by school boys, “Black e mo. Black e mo. Yadaddsleepsnekked. Black e mo black e mo ya dadd sleeps nekked. Black e mo…”(Morrison 65) This forced her to become angry and since she has no one to shout at without being shouted back at, she ends the cycle being at the lowest of the low. So she starts to believe everything that she is told is true. All of this harassment from everyone in her life pushes her emotional and mental capacity to the breaking point until she drowns in the pursuit of trying to fix everything that she has ever been picked on for. She becomes insane and disconnected from reality, living in her own bubble of a world. Gaines uses a similar setting in A Gathering of old men to produce the same thematic conclusion. He placed his story in deep Luisiana in a rural farming community with a predominantly black population during the 1970s. Everybody knows each other in this community which
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