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A Gathering of Old Men

ficton book report
by

Kasey Dauterive

on 13 December 2012

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Transcript of A Gathering of Old Men

Kasey Dauterive
English III (AP)
Mrs. Prevot
December 13, 2012 A Gathering of Old Men Intro- Snookum, a little black boy is the first narrator and is told he must deliver a message somewhere about something unknown. To him, he complains about being unrewarded but from an adults perspective there is a serious situation going on. Exposition This novel is separated into chapters where there is a total of 15 different narrators so that the reader gets insight into different scenes. Each chapter is told in first person but each scene is covered perfectly. The different points of view lets the reader oversee everything happening between the two groups of people so the story is interconnected.But, throughout the novel a main character is never the narrator, only static characters are narrating. The reader has so many questions that aren't completely answered until the end. Structure This story is set in the 1970's South Louisiana on an old plantation and Cajun country. Blacks still live there to farm the sugar cane and a Cajun man Beau also sharecrops the land. The owners of the plantation are very old and don't really do much so the place is pretty quiet and dead. Scenes change so that the reader can see what's going on outside of the gathering and at other points in the parish. The story takes place from around 1pm to about 7pm in one day and concludes with the results told of a three day trial.From the setting and novel I have discovered that even though slavery and the civil rights movement had been long over with in the 1970's Louisiana was still corrupt and blacks faced racism. Blacks from the south didn't just forget their treatment from the past. Cajun immigrants worked alongside black people as share croppers, but were treated as superiors because they were white. Setting Mathu: The assumed Murderer who is being protected by Candy's plan to have the old men gather and claim to be guilty; flat & static Major Characters Internal External and Internal Conflicts Racism, pride, manhood, progression, and aging. Themes Main Theme Foreshadowing Evaluation of the Work Rising- The reader discovers a man named Beau has been shot and "Candy" is giving orders to multiple characters to alert a bunch of named men to come to the land she is on with shotguns and to all have the same kind of empty shells. As the story unravels the reader discovers that a Cajun man (Beau) was shot by someone and is that person is being protected so that no one can be arrested. All of these black old men gather at a man named Mathu's house and they each know to say they did it so that the sheriff has no one to arrest. Climax- After holding back the white man "Fix" and his family long enough you discover Fix is Beau's father who is known in the community for committing vicious acts on black people.Fix says he is too old and will not go unless all of his sons agree to go too. Two of his sons think it is wrong to go lynch because times have changed and it is politically incorrect and looked down upon.A friend of Beau's "Luke Will" is in furious and decides to take matters into his own hands. When he arrives to the Marshall plantation, Charlie who has also just arrived and admitted he really killed Beau has a shoot out with Luke which involves all of the old men. Falling-The old men and a few drunk white boys have a gun fight where Leroy a white boy is injured and Luke Will and Charlie are shot dead. Denouncement- Charlie and Beau are dead along with Luke Will, so there is a three day long trial. The media covers the controversial trial and different groups come to support each side. Because the only people who murdered are dead, every one got off with just probation and no one is allowed to touch/ use a gun. Mapes: The sheriff who questions the old men and stays with them throughout the entire novel attempting to arrest Mathu; round & dynamic Candy: Lives on plantation and devises the plan to protect Mathu because she grew up with him. round & dynamic Lou Dimes: Most frequent narrator who is also Candy's boyfriend. He is neutral throughout the situation and very respectful; round & static Fix: Beau's father who has become old and surprisingly does not go after the men because two of his sons object; round & dynamic Charlie: Character who doesn't appear until the end but admits to killing Beau and running but he returns to take responsibility; dynamic & round External Charlie vs Charlie: Charlie runs after killing Beau and let's his Uncle Mathu take the blame. Later he comes back and wanted to be a man, so he takes responsibility. He was torn between running and being a man. ind vs. self Old Fix vs New Fix: Fix was expected to go straight to Marshall to find someone to lynch but he knew times had changed and he had aged so he listened to his sons. ind vs. self Gil's family vs Self Pride: Gil's family was supposed to go avenge Beau, but he relied on a black friend on his football team. He chose not to go with his family so that he didn't attract media attention and have that on his conscience.ind vs. self Rev. Jameson vs Old men: Rev wants the men to go home and for Mathu to confess but the men shut him down and refuse to see his point. ind vs. society Candy vs. Mathu's arrest: Every one expects that Mathu is guilty but Candy organized this gathering so that he wouldn't be arrested. She refuses to let him be turned in. ind vs. fate Mapes vs. Men: Mapes beats and threatens these old men, but they still all say they did it. He is conflicted as to what to do and who to blame. He is at a dead end. ind vs.society Symbols The tractor Beau drives symbolizes the increased use of machines in agriculture. Because of the machines the Cajuns used, they got ahead of the traditional black people on the farm and plowed faster. Like one old man said, the men laughed and made more money than the men who use mules and their hand because they could afford tractors and made more money. The guns symbolize manhood to the old men. Candy instructs them to bring empty bullets and the sheriff things they are useless too, but behind the white peoples backs they load their guns, causing them to be more than just the inferior group that the Sheriff and his Deputy thinks they are. Through action and self- realization one can achieve something to prove their worth and man-hood. Beau's initial murder and the repetition of the name "Fix" was foreshadowing of the fight coming from the murder and how big of a deal it was. The phone calls and conversations about getting the old men together was the foreshadowing of the way they would band together to prevent one from getting lynched/ going to jail. The expectation of Fix to show up and raise cane by everyone in the story was foreshadowing of something significant coming to the Marshall Plantation to avenge Beau's death. "A Gathering of Old Men" is an African, Southern novel that brings up conflicts of race in the south even after the civil rights movement. The work is humorous, yet keeps you turning pages. It's like piecing together a puzzle and you can't see the whole image until the very end. It's different than any other novel because there are so many different narrators, but none are the one that the main action is occurring around in the chapter. You can visualize being there watching it which is easier than visualizing being the character. The style allows you to use your imagination as if you were there watching. Unfortunately certain characters bug you, but that is what makes the story unfold nicely. You feel a sense of victory at the end of the novel. In history, blacks in Louisiana and in the South were always treated as inferior. This work is relatable for me because it is set in my home-state. I've seen these bayou's, and I am apart of a close Cajun family with a french accent. I never would've thought that even in the 70's where I'm from was far from a pleasant place to live for black people.
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