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Giovanni's Room Themes
Little Words, Big Ideas
The tragedy of Giovanni's Room is inseparable from the fact that it is a love story. The characters in the novel cannot choose whom they love (it just happens), and the result is that they often ex...
Sexuality and Sexual Identity
Perhaps the main conflict in Giovanni's Room is that David wants to love women, but he's sexually attracted him to men. He attempts to have it both ways but, in this case, love follows desire, and...
Men and Masculinity
David has a lot of ideas about what it means to be a man. He articulates some of them, and he leaves others implicit. His relationship with his father early on in the book begins to shape his ideas...
On one level, what David is repressing is almost immediately apparent to the reader; he won't admit that he's gay. As one reads Giovanni's Room, it's remarkable how, when speaking about events, Dav...
Most of the main characters in Giovanni's Room are terrified of being alone. They are constantly rushing into one another's arms, looking for company. Yet, the desperate nature of their relationshi...
Throughout Giovanni's Room, David tends to avoid making decisions. He is smart enough to realize, however, that not making a decision is just another way of making one. The problem is that he seems...
Visions of America
A very small part of Giovanni's Room takes place in America. Early on, David leaves America for France, simultaneously searching for himself and attempting to lose himself. In France, America begin...
Memory and the Past
Giovanni's Room is a book of memories. The narrative itself is simply David remembering the long confused series of experiences that constitute his life. Yet how he remembers things is very telling...
As David tells the story, it is sometimes hard to tell where the key moments of change were in his relationship with Giovanni. At many of the most obvious points – when the two of them first...
Guilt and Blame
Giovanni's Room is told in the past tense. A few pages in we already know how the story ends, and the novel is pervaded by the knowledge that it is too late to do anything. David, even by recountin...
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