The Role Of Bravery In Giovanni's Room

2064 Words 9 Pages
To uphold bravery, one must not be deterred by fears and potential dangers when making decisions. In James Baldwin’s novel Giovanni’s Room, the main protagonist David has significant difficulty establishing a courageous foundation due to his fears surrounding attraction towards men and his relationship to the supporting character Giovanni. Due to a lack of bravery, David develops more shame towards himself and the relationship. Outside of literature, different art forms and their artists take on this struggle of questioning sexuality linked to bravery and shame. In a recent article by Wallace Mack, he compares the song Siegfried, which on the studio album Blonde by Frank Ocean, to Giovanni’s Room. Frank Ocean is a Grammy winning, R&B singer/songwriter …show more content…
Ocean would rather live a life where he is not hiding his relationship, having endured the worst when trying to avoid coming out of the “dark” he would state later on. However, he goes on to say, or more preciously ask, the listener for advice on how to get to the “outside” and live there. As a young adult living in a community that is experiencing a movement for change in societal norms, I empathize with Ocean’s comments and question. When Ocean states that he is trying to find an “outside”, not only is he looking to find a way to be out, but also he is looking to find his happiness. My adventure to my “outside” is grueling, as there is so much unknown in a hostile time, and I know that when I reach it, I will be happier.
Later in her analysis of Giovanni’s Room, Andrea Dworkin states: “Shame, like hate, can kill love; make it dirty; but if one is brave, one will love and that will defeat shame. Shame, unlike hate, can be defeated.” (74) This occurs during the part in which Jacques is advising David that the inability to confront his sexuality will lead to a build up of shame and can render the relationship toxic. Jacques
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From his mixture of resisting his sexuality and questioning a stereotypical family life to his desire of living in the “outside” contribute to the idea behind this concern. In response to this question, not only does this relate to Giovanni’s Room, but it also relates to life today and the array of current events that discuss the development of a consciousness uprising. David, instead of acting on pure fear of sleeping with Joey and shame of his same-sex relationship with Giovanni, could have possibly looked for help. Instead, he did not have the courage in order to address questions of his sexuality to another person, but also address his own sexuality overall. As for today’s society from the viewpoint of a college student, the most recent situations that have become relevant, along with the 2016 US Presidential Election, leave many young adolescents wondering the same question as Ocean. Many of my fellow millennial-generation-aged individuals are ashamed of America, feeling like they have lost a strong, courageous support system. However, from the Giovanni’s Room and Siegfried, it should be known that the answer to the question “What would you recommend I do?” is simple: grow stronger as a

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