The Theme Of True Identity In Giovanni's Room By James Baldwin

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In the novel Giovanni’s Room written by James Baldwin, David, the protagonist struggles with expressing his true identity as a homosexual male. David grew up without his mother, and was raised by his father and aunt. Throughout David’s life, his father expressed the importance for him to become a man of masculinity. While David’s father desired for him to become a man, he never explicitly express to David what it takes to become/be a man. Moreover, David’s father was never there for David to talk to, and some instances he would even hide from his son. Through life experiences with his Dad, David began to grow separate from his father and dislike him because of the lack of physical and emotional care provided to him, high expectations put forth …show more content…
In the text David states, “He would be reading his newspaper, hidden from me behind his newspaper, so that, desperate to conquer his attention, I sometimes so annoyed him that our duel ended with me being carried from the room in tears” (Baldwin, 1956, pg. 91). In other words, David as a kid needed attention and his father was not there to provide him with the proper love and affection. As a result, this has caused David to feel inadequate and began a life of wanting to feel accepted. Moreover, his father lack of acknowledgement for him as a kid has caused him to live a life trying to please him and of secrecy. This is evident if one examines David’s response to his father’s letter. Although David’s dad did not put this line in the letter, “Is it a woman, David? Bring her on home. I don’t care who she is. Bring her on home and I’ll help you get set up,” David knew that in order to be accepted by his father, he must answer this question (Baldwin, 1956, pg. 91). The reason for this stems from David’s father obsession with women. In the return letter David wrote “I won’t keep any secrets from you anymore, I found a girl and I want to marry her” (Baldwin, 1956, pg. 124). Although in reality while David was gone he found a boy that he fell deeply in love with. However to appeal to his father, he told his father such information that was not the entire truth. By David telling skewed …show more content…
A reason why David despises his father most is he knows that his father will not accept him if he identifies himself as a homosexual. One can conclude that his father may have these same views as most Americans when he father said “You’re as American as pork and beans, even though maybe you don’t want to think so anymore” (Baldwin, 1956, pg. 91). The typical American male can be described as heterosexual, masculine, white, and/or liberated. The way David’s father exclaim who David is and gives David no way of changing who he is by saying “even though maybe you don’t want to think so anymore” gives David the feeling that he has to be this “Man” that his father makes him out to be (Baldwin, 1956, pg. 91). Although David did not explicitly say his Dad’s views on homosexual males, one can infer that David’s Father may have similar views towards homosexual males since he prides himself with

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