So just what in the wide world of sports do we mean by the "gallant
South"? Sure, we're going to be taking a look at some images of that
beautiful—and maybe not-so beautiful—Louisiana countryside, but why call it "gallant"?
Well, it's actually a reference to an old song that has to do with racism and
all of its ugliness, but lynching in particular, called "Strange Fruit." When the song calls the
South "gallant," it's doing it in a really sarcastic way. The idea is
that there's nothing gallant about a society that terrorizes and brutalizes
innocent people. As you read through moments where we get a look at Louisiana
in A Gathering of Old Men,
think about whether or not Gaines wants you to like what you see.
Questions About Visions of the "Gallant South"
Why is it that we never get a good, long look at the city in Gaines's novel? Why no New Orleans or chapter upon chapter taking place in Baton Rouge?
Do the white and African-American characters in Gaines's novel have the same relationship to the land? Why or why not?
Does Marshall seem like a fantastic place to visit or live? Why or why not?
Chew on This
Throughout the novel, Gaines gives us visions of a once rich
and beautiful landscape now slowly dying to show us the cost of technological
of Old Men </em>is a novel of opposites in conflict, and the
competing ideas about the land and its importance that characters have