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Giovanni's Room

Giovanni's Room


by James Baldwin

Giovanni's Room Love Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Part.Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #1

I told her that I had loved her once and I made myself believe it. But I wonder if I had. I was thinking, no doubt, of our nights in bed, of the peculiar innocence and confidence which will never come again which had made those nights so delightful, so unrelated to past, present, or anything to come, so unrelated, finally, to my life since it was not necessary for me to take any but the most mechanical responsibility for them. (1.1.4)

Here, David questions whether or not he ever really loved Hella. Can love ever stand up to this sort of analysis?

Quote #2

I was beginning to judge him. And the very harshness of this judgment, which broke my heart, revealed, though I could not have said it then, how much I had loved him, how that love, along with my innocence, was dying. (1.1.53)

In what ways is David's understanding of his judgment of his father like the blues? How can one find love implied in cruelty, happiness in sadness? How does this sort of view change the way that one thinks of one's feelings and emotions?

Quote #3

He wanted no distance between us, he wanted me to look on him as a man like myself. But I wanted the merciful distance of father and son, which would have permitted me to love him. (1.1.54)

Why do a father and son require some distance in order to love one another? In what ways is love "prescribed"? Why is it that certain relationships seem to require a certain kind of love?

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