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Gathering of old men notes

By tarlon Oct 13, 2013 651 Words
The Gathering of Old Men Notes
Setting: Marshall Plantation
Theme: Manhood
The first two chapters introduce the event that will lead to the novel’s plot, Beau’s death. Snookum is a young black child and him and his family live in slave quarters. Janey lives with Miss Bea, the Major, and Candy in the Marshall home (the home of the previous slave owners) Janey’s instruction to Snookum backs up the traditional way that blacks addressed whites as well as demonstrating her stance on social order Narrating chapter 3, Miss Merle, Candy admits to her that she shot Beau. Skeptic, Miss Merle begs Candy to tell her the truth because since they’ve known each other for a long time, Merle knows that Candy is lying to her. Though Candy committed the crime 3 other people have confessed (Mathu, Rufe, and Johnny Paul). Miss Merle (House mistress to Jack) tells Candy that she knows she’s lying. Candy begs Miss Merle to help her protect Mathu (they were close since childhood). Merle goes back to the Marshall home and tells Bea that Beau died in the quarters and tells Janey and Bea that Candy has taken responsibility for the murder. Miss Merle explains Candy’s plan to Janey and Bea. Miss Merle has concerns for the people on the plantation as opposed to Bea not caring at all During the slavery era, Cajuns were poor whites who stood economically outside the plantation system since they didn’t own land and weren’t black. Once the slavery era ended, the Cajuns had to compete with the local blacks who were now free. The major issue of manhood is shown through Chimley and Mat. (Early 70’s men, fishing). Chimley, Mat, Billy Washington, Cherry Bello, and Jacob Aguillard drive with Clatoo to the plantation after a young boy informed them of Candy’s plan. For Chimley and Mat, helping Mathu gives them the opportunity to redeem themselves because all their lives they have been hiding from the whites, now they stand up like men instead of cowards. Mat argues with his wife redefines his need to rehabilitate his masculinity. His wife urges him to stay home but he remembers his son’s tragic death and their years in the plantations. Mathu has been one of the men who stood up to the white community. The old men are determined to prove themselves. Dirty Red and Yank are picked up and they are headed to the Marshall plantation and walk to Mathu’s house together. Jacob Aguillard makes a stop by his sister Tessie’s grave. She died because she slept with both black and white men, the white men killed her for sleeping with blacks. All 18 men are gathered in front of Mathu’s house ready to confess Fix, a local Cajun farmer, led many lynch mobs against the local blacks. Beau happens to be his son and people believe that he will try to seek revenge. The Sheirff instructs a deputy to keep Fix off the plantation to avoid lynching. Billy Washington and Gable both confess to the murder. The Reverend told Sheriff nothing and got hit in the face. Mathu is the only man who is man enough to murder. Other men explain that Beau died for what they have suffered in the past Gil, Beau’s brother, refuses to fight along the lynch mob with his father (Fix) and local racist whites, and Luke Will. Charlie returns to confess that he committed the murder after Beau threatened him. He confesses to show that he is truly a man Charlie ends up dying in a gun battle between the men and the whites after Mapes refuses to give Charlie up. Luke Will also dies after Charlie shot him The black men are all trialed and the judge places the defendants on probation for 5 years Lou squeezes Candy’s hand to reaffirm their relationship

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