The Sky Is Gray Questions and Answers

The Sky Is Gray

The young man, probably a student, who wears a suit and reads a book, presages the "defiant, non-violent non-cooperation of the Civil Rights Movement" (enotes) as he declares, "We should question...

Latest answer posted April 16, 2012, 5:20 am (UTC)

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The Sky Is Gray

I think that Gaines' story features different conflicts. One particular conflict is the economic problems that plague the mother and son. They are battling through the conflict of economic...

Latest answer posted July 1, 2012, 8:33 am (UTC)

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The Sky Is Gray

In order to give you a thesis statement, I really need to know what the topic is. Are you writing about a particular theme of the story, one of the characters, or a conflict? This story is so rich...

Latest answer posted November 2, 2010, 2:48 am (UTC)

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The Sky Is Gray

In Ernest J. Gaines’s story “The Sky Is Gray,” the American national narrative is exemplified through the character of James, a young boy who has several significant experiences as well as...

Latest answer posted July 27, 2020, 12:02 am (UTC)

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The Sky Is Gray

Like many of Ernest J. Gaines' works, this one takes place in a fictional town in Louisiana and concerns the struggles of southern Blacks before and up to the Civil Rights movement (as in The...

Latest answer posted January 30, 2010, 5:46 am (UTC)

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The Sky Is Gray

Ernest J. Gaines's "The Sky Is Grey" uses the voice of eight-year-old James to begin the story. Gaines does this to draw the reader into James's world. We immediately feel sorrow for...

Latest answer posted October 7, 2008, 11:15 am (UTC)

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The Sky Is Gray

W.E.B. DuBois's famous "The problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color line" is clearly suggested in Gaines's title, "The Sky is Gray." Illustrating the implications of the...

Latest answer posted December 17, 2010, 8:33 am (UTC)

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The Sky Is Gray

The Jim Crow laws are presented in a very understated way in the story. James is in town with his mother, Octavia, for a simple dental appointment. Yet on their journey, they encounter a number of...

Latest answer posted March 3, 2018, 11:47 am (UTC)

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The Sky Is Gray

I don't think that Gaines' work is forcing a choice between the three options. It seems to me that Gaines' work is concerned with all three realities. The scope and thematic nature of the text is...

Latest answer posted July 2, 2012, 4:39 am (UTC)

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The Sky Is Gray

Octavia is too proud to take any food or any charity from the old woman. She feels she hasn't earned it. So, in order to make Octavia feel that she or her son has done something to earn their meal,...

Latest answer posted November 25, 2008, 5:36 am (UTC)

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The Sky Is Gray

I would suggest that the antagonist in the story is the society that has constructed so difficult a reality for James and his mother. Gaines develops this on a couple of fronts, both of them being...

Latest answer posted July 1, 2012, 8:46 am (UTC)

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The Sky Is Gray

"The Sky is Grey" is actually set in the late 1930's before the United States entered the war and about 20-30 years before the civil rights movement began in earnest. This contributes to the irony...

Latest answer posted October 29, 2008, 11:18 am (UTC)

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The Sky Is Gray

This is an interesting perspective on this short story. "The Sky is Gray," by Ernest J. Gaines, is set in the South (Louisiana) during the 1940s. This is a time and place in which both racism and...

Latest answer posted December 14, 2010, 12:31 am (UTC)

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The Sky Is Gray

James is a young boy on the verge of adolescence when the story occurs. His mother loves her son but she is more concerned wit teaching him tough moral lessons to make him "strong". At the...

Latest answer posted February 18, 2009, 5:08 am (UTC)

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The Sky Is Gray

Octavia is a woman who prizes independence, resourcefulness, hard work, and toughness. She wants to instill these values in her children. Being a black woman in a racist society, she knows her...

Latest answer posted March 7, 2019, 8:52 pm (UTC)

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The Sky Is Gray

With the setting of this short story in the 1940s, World War II is in progress and the children and their mother are alone. In the third section, James, the narrator of the story, remarks that his...

Latest answer posted April 16, 2012, 4:53 am (UTC)

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The Sky Is Gray

The nurse treats James and Octavia with cold detachment. She seems to have no sympathy for James' pain. Her goal is to simply keep the dentist's office running efficiently. So, when it's time for...

Latest answer posted November 26, 2008, 11:09 am (UTC)

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The Sky Is Gray

In these two short stories, many of the characters are African American and poor. Both stories emphasize the importance of family, and both stories stress the importance of determination and...

Latest answer posted June 29, 2020, 11:37 pm (UTC)

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The Sky Is Gray

I believe the young man you are referring to is the student that joins in the conversation between James and the preacher. The young man is clearly angry and alienated from society. He sees...

Latest answer posted October 16, 2008, 12:25 am (UTC)

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The Sky Is Gray

In Ernest J. Gaines's story “The Sky Is Gray,” James knows the rules. He is surrounded by them, both at home and out in public. His mama makes it very clear how he is to behave. She will not...

Latest answer posted July 31, 2021, 3:02 pm (UTC)

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The Sky Is Gray

It is interesting that Ernest Gaines's story, "The Sky is Gray," is much like Harper Lee's novel, To Kill a Mockingbird: It was published in the early 1960s, but had as its setting the Jim Crow...

Latest answer posted December 17, 2010, 1:43 am (UTC)

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