A Gathering of Old Men

by Ernest J. Gaines

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On their way to Mathu's place, why do the old men linger in the graveyard in the novel A Gathering of Old Men

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Through their actions, the old men experience a change from frightened children living in a racist society to proud black men who will no longer allow bigotry to control their lives. These men don't have a propensity for violence, but for the first time in their lives, they are willing to stand together as a group and committ violent acts, if necessary. The "gathering" of men has become a community with common values, a common history, and common goals by the end of the book. The graveyard is a symbol of their strength as a group and their new sense of community they have developed.

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