Study Guide

Cal in A Gathering of Old Men

By Ernest J. Gaines

Cal

Cal is the other half of the unstoppable LSU football duo Salt and Pepper. Gil is the salt, and Cal is the pepper. We admit, it's kind of a messed up way of referring to a couple of athletes who just happen to come from different racial backgrounds. Still, the fact that these guys are playing together and that all of Louisiana is rooting for them says something. This is Gaines's way of showing us that the fight for equal rights and integration worked (otherwise Cal and Gil wouldn't be attending the same school). He gives us an image of a future in which racial difference just isn't important anymore, where everybody is perfectly happy treating people like people—no matter the color of their skin.