Gender Norms in Giovanni’s Room: A Reference Not a Rule

On Monday, our class had a discussion on Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin, where we talked about Hella’s judgmental remarks after her return from Spain.  My classmates Alana and Anisa provided ample evidence from the text showing when Hella protected judgement onto other characters.  Even though it was clear their claim was true, I persistedContinue reading “Gender Norms in Giovanni’s Room: A Reference Not a Rule”

Intersectionality In Giovanni’s Room

By Hannah Sweet While James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room is a story that follows a white queer man, race is a dominant force that is as central to Baldwin’s narrative as sexuality. In Giovanni’s Room homosexuality becomes connected to blackness in a way that heterosexuality is connected to whiteness. Both are identities that lay outside ofContinue reading “Intersectionality In Giovanni’s Room”

Internalized Homophobia isn’t Past Us

As we wrapped up James’ Baldwins novel, Giovanni’s room, a thematic question continuously came up that made me wonder. As the novel is placed in 1950’s Paris, we as the reader see consistent instances of David’s internalized homophobia with the ’50s societal norms. They appear as he begins to feel emotion towards Giovanni as wellContinue reading “Internalized Homophobia isn’t Past Us”

How James Baldwin’s Identities Inform Giovanni’s Room: the Separation of Race and Sexuality

As a bisexual black man, James Baldwin had rather unique experiences in 1950s America and Paris. Many of these experiences informed the writing of Giovanni’s Room and his other works. Parallels can be drawn between Baldwin’s life and the plot of Giovanni’s Room. Baldwin moved to Paris when he was 24 and fell in loveContinue reading “How James Baldwin’s Identities Inform Giovanni’s Room: the Separation of Race and Sexuality”

Deception and Denial: David’s Battle for Self-Acceptance

By: Georgia Pettygrove “For I am – or I was – one of those people who pride themselves on their willpower, on their ability to make a decision and carry it through. This virtue, like most virtues, is ambiguity itself. People who believe that they are strong-willed and the masters of their destiny can onlyContinue reading “Deception and Denial: David’s Battle for Self-Acceptance”

Invention and Sorrow: the role of literature in times of disconnection.

By Nora Cornell • 8 November 2020 “What I was seeing was but a part of the truth and perhaps not even the most important part; beneath these faces, … was power and sorrow, both unadmitted, unrealized, the power of inventors, the sorrow of the disconnected” (90). This line, a near-throwaway about some American tourists,Continue reading “Invention and Sorrow: the role of literature in times of disconnection.”

Forbidden Love: The Shame and Desire in Giovanni’s Room

During a week full of chaos, both at Blake and throughout the country, reading James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room was an intriguing escape. Not only are we transported to Paris in the 1950s, we are transported to a world that is not very accepting of LGBTQ+ people. Told from the perspective of David, a twenty-something AmericanContinue reading “Forbidden Love: The Shame and Desire in Giovanni’s Room”