Questions and Answers for A Gathering of Old Men

A Gathering of Old Men

In A Gathering of Old Men, what is symbolic about all the men waiting in the graveyard? It is in the Chapter "Grant...

The men who are waiting in the graveyard are about to do something they have never done before. They are, as a group, going to stand up to the oppression of white society. A bigoted white farmer,...

Latest answer posted March 19, 2009 6:15 am UTC

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A Gathering of Old Men

In A Gathering of Old Men by Ernest J. Gaines, what does Mathu say about the men having gathered at his house?

In A Gathering of Old Men by Ernest J. Gaines, Mathu has gained a reputation as the only black character to take a stand against the oppression of the surrounding Louisiana community. Early in the...

Latest answer posted March 17, 2016 12:27 pm UTC

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A Gathering of Old Men

Why does Miss Merle slap Janey, and how does this make you feel after reading the chapter narrated by Merle in A...

In A Gathering of Old Men, although slapping Janey is rather cruel, Miss Merle realizes that the servant is hysterical and she needs answers from Janey immediately. In the beginning of Gaines's...

Latest answer posted November 5, 2016 2:31 am UTC

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A Gathering of Old Men

How is symbolism displayed in A Gathering of Old Men?

Symbolism is displayed in the story through the action of the novel. One of the most memorable scenes is when the old men pass the plantation graveyard for black people on their way to see Candy...

Latest answer posted September 8, 2007 6:39 am UTC

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A Gathering of Old Men

What is the conflict in A Gathering of Old Men?

The conflict in A Gathering of Old Men is basically the want to know and the process to find out who killed Beau Bouton. Part of the conflict is also the wonder of whether there will be justice for...

Latest answer posted December 13, 2014 1:43 pm UTC

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A Gathering of Old Men

Describe Candy and Mathu's relationship in A Gathering of Old Men.

Candy and Mathu have an affectionate but complex relationship. After her parents were killed (when she was five), Candy was raised by Mathu and Miss Merle. He is a much older man, and acts as a...

Latest answer posted April 24, 2007 2:53 am UTC

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A Gathering of Old Men

What is the answer to the mystery observed by Lou Dimes in A Gathering of Old Men?  

To answer this question, we first need to establish what the mystery was. While Lou Dimes was standing around the murder scene, he noticed that the “old men” referenced in the novel’s title are...

Latest answer posted June 12, 2020 7:40 pm UTC

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A Gathering of Old Men

Why doesn't anyone listen to Reverend Jameson on page 53 of A Gathering of Old Men? Why do you think Gaines chooses...

No one will listen to Reverend Jameson as he cautions acquiescence in the face of racial oppression. Far from doing so out of deeply-held religious convictions, this supposed man of God is simply...

Latest answer posted February 6, 2019 12:41 pm UTC

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A Gathering of Old Men

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

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...

Latest answer posted July 30, 2007 1:04 pm UTC

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A Gathering of Old Men

Why does Candy send Snookum to deliever messages and gather people to Mathu's house in A Gathering of Old Men?

A local white farmer by the name of Beau Bouton has been shot dead. In this deeply racist society, the finger of suspicion immediately points at a black man called Mathu. Mathu's completely...

Latest answer posted December 3, 2018 9:26 am UTC

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A Gathering of Old Men

Why did Mat feel good about what they were doing in A Gathering of Old Men?

After Beau is killed and his father and the other White men look for his killer, they immediately suspect Mathu because he was the only African American man who made a habit of standing up to...

Latest answer posted July 27, 2020 11:16 pm UTC

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A Gathering of Old Men

Why is Candy so protective of Mathu in A Gathering of Old Men?

Candy has a sense of obligation towards Mathu. She sees him almost as a kind of substitute child and, as such, someone deserving of care and protection. Indeed, her attitude towards Mathu extends...

Latest answer posted September 8, 2019 5:15 am UTC

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A Gathering of Old Men

Is is possible to compare Snookum and Janey from A Gathering of Old Men?

I think the only comparison to be made here is the difference in attitudes toward the changing of the roles of African Americans. Janey is more comfortable in the old, established role as a house...

Latest answer posted October 18, 2007 7:08 am UTC

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A Gathering of Old Men

In A Gathering of Old Men, why did Mat decide to go to Mathu's?

Mat is out fishing with his friend Chimley when a message comes through that they need to go to Mathu's house. Mathu is in serious trouble after claiming to have shot Beau, a white farmer and son...

Latest answer posted August 25, 2020 6:34 pm UTC

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A Gathering of Old Men

What proof is there is the beginning of A Gathering of Old Men that proves Beau came after Charlie with a gun? 

When Lou Dimes first sees the corpse of Beau Boutan, there is a shotgun in the weeds a couple of steps from the body. Providing that the gun was not planted there by someone else, and there is no...

Latest answer posted March 22, 2009 10:22 am UTC

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A Gathering of Old Men

What are the men about to do on page 31 of A Gathering of Old Men, and what role does this action have in the larger...

Two old men named Mat and Chimley are out fishing when they are told about Mathu and what Candy wants them to do. After they consider the situation, they decide to help. Mat and Chimley, two men in...

Latest answer posted November 5, 2016 10:18 am UTC

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A Gathering of Old Men

In A Gathering of Old Men, which of the characters do you like best and least and why?

One of the most admirable characters in the novel is Candy. Though she is described as "small, not more than five two, and thin as a dime" (page 16), she is a strong person who is committed to...

Latest answer posted November 4, 2016 11:52 pm UTC

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A Gathering of Old Men

In the book "A gathering of Old Men", how one of the characters in the book (anyone) changed from the beginning of...

Here is a couple of Character Overviews. See the link below for further information. Charlie Biggs Charlie Biggs is a big, fifty-year-old black man. All his life he has been timid and submissive,...

Latest answer posted June 7, 2007 1:11 am UTC

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A Gathering of Old Men

What is the tug-of-war between destiny and determination for Mathu in A Gathering of Old Men?

It's somewhat difficult to say how Mathu truly feels about destiny vs. determination, because unlike a number of the other characters, we never get a chapter from his perspective. This means that...

Latest answer posted September 24, 2018 2:08 am UTC

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A Gathering of Old Men

In A Gathering of Old Men, what are they about to do, and what role does this action have in the larger context...

In A Gathering of Old Men, Ernest Gaines offers a distinctive view of justice. Rather than identify the criminal who killed a man, the “old men” of the title are determined to prevent his killer...

Latest answer posted February 5, 2020 6:33 am UTC

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A Gathering of Old Men

Why did gil take his anger out on Cal in the gatheriring of old men when Gil found out about his brother Beau's death?

It is a shock to Gil to hear of his brother's death at the very least. When he learns that his brother was supposedly killed by a black man, he lashes out at Cal because he happens to be the only...

Latest answer posted December 16, 2007 3:30 am UTC

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A Gathering of Old Men

Describe Candy and Mathu's relationship in the novel of the gathering of old men. What type of people were they?    

Candy and Mathu had an interesting relationship in Gathering of Old Men. Both want to protect each other, even though Candy is so much younger than Mathu. Mathu helped raise Candy, which is why...

Latest answer posted April 25, 2007 7:45 am UTC

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A Gathering of Old Men

How old is Snookum in the novel "A Gathering of Old Men"?

Snookum is one of the narrators of the story in "A Gathering of Old Men." The boy, whose full name is George Eliot, Jr., lives with his grandmother. We're not told his exact age, but he...

Latest answer posted July 31, 2008 12:51 pm UTC

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A Gathering of Old Men

What does Miss Merle do to make Janey name people who don't like Fix?This is in chapter 3

First she explains the situation, and then, when that does not work, she grabs her and slaps her. Miss Merle then verbally prompts her, all the while threatening to slap her again (and standing...

Latest answer posted August 27, 2008 3:38 am UTC

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A Gathering of Old Men

In A Gathering of Old Men, what do you think of Mapes’s tactics when he questions and strikes the black men, and why...

After driving up the dusty road and arriving at Mathu's place, Sheriff Mapes steps out of his squad car in his gray suit with a red tie. He assesses the situation and then questions the old men,...

Latest answer posted November 11, 2016 2:08 am UTC

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A Gathering of Old Men

Discuss the significance of this ending of The Gathering of the Old Men.

At the finale of The Gathering of Old Men, Mathu agrees to ride back home with the other black men in Clatoo's truck instead of taking a ride from Candy. Throughout the novel, Mathu and the other...

Latest answer posted May 16, 2019 6:07 pm UTC

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A Gathering of Old Men

What are good summaries for chapters 1-10?

You'll find a general summary of the novel in the section of the enotes study guide titled Summary, which is found here: http://www.enotes.com/gathering-old/13401 For a chapter by chapter summary,...

Latest answer posted March 20, 2007 11:58 pm UTC

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A Gathering of Old Men

Can you describe Clabber in A Gathering of Old Men.  Are there any quotes regarding him in the book?

Clabber Hornsby is the "albino from Jarreau." He is "milk white" and has "nappy white hair." Clabber is a minor character and does not figure much in the narrative. He is mntioned by Mathu in...

Latest answer posted May 16, 2013 2:00 am UTC

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