Giovanni's Room
Giovanni's Room
by James Baldwin
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Character Role Analysis

Hella to Giovanni

Hella and Giovanni are David's two love interests, and yet he disappoints both of them. Giovanni mocks David for trying to make a life "with that moon-faced little girl who thinks babies come out of cabbages – or frigidaires, I am not acquainted with the mythology of your country" (2.4.208). Is Giovanni right about Hella's innocence and naiveté? How do Hella's ideas about the limits of womanhood relate to Giovanni's ideas about being a gay man? What is it about each of them that attracts David? Is there any reason for David to prefer Giovanni to Hella beside the fact that he is attracted to men?

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