In the 1956 Novel Giovanni Room by James Baldwin, it is written in first person which gives a better understanding of the story since it is told directly from the character. This give the reader the insight of how the character feel directly, what his personal thoughts are, and personal struggles the character faces. The given examples show how the author executed characterization and how the point of view helps the reader understand the thought and struggles the character goes through. As well as how indirect and direct characterizations has an effect on how the reader is understanding the story.
The character David is a direct characterization he directly states in the story about the character Giovanni, he says Giovanni liked to believe that he was hard-headed and states that he himself, David was not, and that Giovanni was teaching me the story fact of life. It was very important for him to feel this, at the very bottom of his heart, that I helplessly, at the very bottom of mine, resisted him with all my strength (2.
1.52). In other words, this is what David’s thinks of Giovanni, us the reader do not know for sure if this is really true, he describes that Giovanni is hard-headed, and that he like to tell other how things are. This is what David thinks in his head about Giovanni. I believe David hit the nail right on the head when he describes Giovanni is hard headed, I do not blame him for being hard- headed or having no sympathy towards anyone, he lost his only child. Another example of David being indirect characterization. David Perhaps it was because he looked so innocent lying there, with such perfect trust (1.1.19). David feels like this is something wrong that he had done with Joey, he believes that he is innocent, he realizes that he has perfect trust. David knows that he can trust Joey. David feels bad that he will betray Joey someone so perfect trusting too. David also explains his thoughts about what he thinks about New York to Paris, his views about it is deeply personal. Being in New York David thought he did not know who he really was nor what was going on. He thought he could run himself and personal issues; he thought it would all go away when he left New York and Gone to Paris. On page 90 and 92, Paris is described as all the time gone by, and New York is described as all the time to come. David thinks Paris is weighted down by the past due running away from his personal problems trying to deny what his sexuality really is I believe Paris is making it more obvious to him that his sexuality is really being homosexual especially after the relationship between Joey and Giovanni and the relationship between David and his father did not help the situation. The relationship between David and Joey was an experience David had that made him confused, or even made him realize that he was gay. David and Joey had spent one summer in Coney Island. The trip was unexpectedly took a turn, before knowing it Joey and David were in bed together and ended up making love. The next morning David felt ashamed of what happened and became hostile towards Joey, because he did not want to believe what he was interest in between women and men. The relationship between David and his father was pretty rough if I say so myself. His father was very distant, he knew that David knew his father did not see him as a son but as a friend. It seems David’s father did not give him a figure of how manhood worked nor a good imagine of what masculinity was. David had to form his own masculinity. His father wants to see him as a real man, this is why Davis is having a hard time telling the truth about himself because he wants to prove to his father and to others that he is masculine. David seems so caught up about trying to bring out his masculinity and it is hurting him more. Now being in Paris, David starts a relationship with a man named Giovanni, later on David discovers the anger built up Giovanni tells David he was married and that they had a child together. Giovanni learned that his baby was dead he said When I knew that it was dead I took our crucifix off the wall and spat on it, the threw it on the floor ( 2.3.194). This is heartbreaking especially for someone losing a child. This must have been really hard for him to open up and talk about. Giovanni has stated he beats women, he said, I perhaps don’t like women very much that’s true (2.1.26). I feel like if David was honest with himself, he would feel free about who he is, and he could move on with his future and not guilt with anything. After all this going from living in New York to living in Paris, David does this because he wants to find himself but in reality, he is just trying to run away from his problems. He does not want to face the truth about himself nor tell people about it. Due to the fact that story is taken place in the time period of 1950s in that time being gay or even bi there was no social acceptance. That was not normal especially since the Civil Rights Movement was taken place. This most definitely had an impact on how he felt about himself this is why masculinity/ manhood was such a big role to this novel. I feel like those in the LBGQT community before the realize that who they are, and what their sexuality is they fought with their themselves because they do not want to face the truth. I cannot imagine how those most feel about coming out to their family and friends and to the rest of the community. The point of view that is in this novel is told from David point of view because he gets his personal thoughts and how he really feels about others, it gives us insight about how the story is told. The novel is written by James Baldwin knowing his background it seems that he put himself as an inspirations of this character David. Baldwin knows how hard it is to be homosexual. David is not getting the racial side of things, but Baldwin experienced that side. James knows firsthand about the experience the thought that ran through his mind, I am sure writing this novel was emotional; bring back the feelings of what he felt going through it.The main themes in this novel is masculinity, repression, and sexuality identity. The masculinity plays such a big role, David feels like he has a duty of showing his masculinity. Almost like he has something to prove. His father wants him to be the man and since the accident he does not want to disappoint his father no one wants to disappoint anyone especially their parents. When Hella was leaving David because she found out that he was gay David described her as hands-on this is probably why he was attracted to her in the first place because she gave off a masculine look. David lies repeatedly to himself and to other about who he is, repression is also a big role in this novel due to him trying to subdue something by force. He was trying too hard to force himself to be someone he is not. Sexuality identity David is really fighting with himself about his sexually identity, this goes back to the whole masculinity trying to be masculine. I feel like people that struggle with this is knows already that they will not be accepted into society, it must be hard because the normal for society is for a man and women to be together and not the same sex love. Those that do love the same sex they try so hard to be the person that everyone automatically thinks they are. Giovanni Room that is written by James Baldwin he discuss the storyline of a man trying to find himself, someone that is really confused and scared to give up his life that he thought he would love such as getting married and starting a family but in reality he figures out that he does not want that and that he is not someone who he thinks he is. This novel is written in first person that way the readers know how the character feels, thinks directly and the personal problems that the character faces.