"Make Him a Man": Black Masculinity and Communal Identity in Ernest J. Gaines's A Lesson Before Dying

@article{Magill2016MakeHA,
  title={"Make Him a Man": Black Masculinity and Communal Identity in Ernest J. Gaines's A Lesson Before Dying},
  author={David E. Magill},
  journal={Studies in the Literary Imagination},
  year={2016},
  volume={49},
  pages={61 - 76}
}
As many critics have noted, Ernest J. Gaines's novels comprise an extended treatise on black male identity in the United States. Yet the novels do not produce one static viewpoint; instead, they demonstrate Gaines's struggle with the question of black masculinity over the course of his lifetime. His earlier novels, such as Catherine Carmier, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, and In My Father's House, represent the difficulties black men face while constructing their masculine identity in… Expand
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Que(e)rying the Prison-House of Black Male Desire: Homosociality in Ernest Gaines's 'Three Men"
Interviewer: [Critics] say Miss Jane Pittman is the greatest Black female character since Dilsey. Gaines: (Laughter): Oh, yeah, Dilsey. Interviewer:. Dilsey is nowhere compared to Miss Jane. You areExpand
"You think a man can't kneel and stand?": Ernest J. Gaines's Reassessment of Religion as Positive Communal Influence In A Lesson Before Dying
In the bayou country of Ernest J. Gaines's fiction, everyone has an opinion about the church. Indeed, although professional religious figures rarely play prominent roles in Gaines's stories, none ofExpand
“Tell Nannan I Walked”: Reconstructing Manhood in Ernest J. Gaines's A Lesson before Dying
Abstract Drawing on a variety of philosophical and ethical views, as well as on African American studies, this paper discusses the way in which Emest J. Gaines's A Lessonbefore Dying reconsiders theExpand
Contemporary black men's fiction and drama
Demonstrating the extraordinary versatility of African-American men's writing since the 1970s, this forceful collection illustrates how African-American male novelists and playwrights have absorbed,Expand
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The portrayal of black men in our national literature is controversial, complex, andoften contradictory. In Racial Myths and Masculinity in African American Literature, Jeffrey B. Leak identifiesExpand
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Although the imaginative setting of Ernest Gaines's stories is little more than a hundred miles removed from the Feliciana Parish of Walker Percy's fiction, and though Gaines and Percy publishedExpand
A Lesson About Manhood: Appropriating "The Word" in Ernest Gaines s A Lesson Before Dying
The word in language is half someone else's. It becomes "one's own" only when the speaker populates it with his own intention, his own accent, when he appropriates the word, adapting it to his ownExpand
Southscapes: Geographies of Race, Region, and Literature
In this innovative approach to southern literary cultures, Thadious Davis analyzes how black southern writers use their spatial location to articulate the vexed connections between society andExpand
Black Looks: Race and Representation
Preface to the New Edition Introduction 1. Loving Blackness as Political Resistance 2. Eating the Other 3. Revolutionary Black Women 4. Selling Hot Pussy 5. A Feminist Challenge 6. ReconstructingExpand
Wrestling Angels into Song: The Fictions of Ernest J. Gaines and James Alan McPherson
Herman Beavers offers a richly nuanced study of Ernes J. Gaines, James Alan McPherson, and Ralph Ellison as writers who have found ways to invest circumstances that might otherwise be seen as sitesExpand
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