The Importance Of Personal Identity In Giovanni's Room

Better Essays

James Baldwin reasons through his book that individuality and an honest sense of self can only be attained through a private voyage that includes more than just drive from one point to an alternative point, it must also lead to a variation within and an acceptance of who one really is. In Giovanni's Room, the main character David travels a journey pursuing personal growth and acceptance to who he really knows he is. A white, homosexual man, David finds himself stuck in a certain personality one that is straight, masculine and white. An American ideal which he knows does not define who he really is. David devotes the novel trying to outpace and cast-off his past and features of his individuality which he wishes to forget. Through David's …show more content…

Although, even with their efforts to push away from their own history that they have created, a lot of times American immigrants discovered themselves simply gazing into the deep past, David now glances at his disappearing reflection in the blackening window. This darkened past is that of a country in which personalities are lost and rejected, misplaced as immigrants have migrated from their homelands to start a new life, and rejected as the rumble of the majority hushes the voice of the minority. Yet individualities are also created as these new Americans try to carve a space for themselves through self-invention, a notion that would become a stamp of their new country. The growl of the American majority is replied by the voice of Baldwin, a black and gay man, truly exemplifies the pain of the minority to comprehend itself and find its place.
In Giovanni's Room, the dominant American distress is that masculinity will be lost to homosexuality, and David at first responds to this fear by attempting to grip an ideal to earn a role on the inside of this fictional community. From reading the text we can analyze that America began as just only colonies, something that is different than what they originally came from their mother country, a set of colonies that is both a part of and separate of what it originated from. It both held inside and outside status, besieged

Get Access