A Gathering of Old Men by Ernest J. Gaines: Home

ENGL 1302 with Dr. Ameila Keel
Literary Analysis Research Guide

This guide will help you find information for your research assignment both in the library and on the Internet. For students at Lone Star College-Kingwood, there may also be materials on reserve at the Circulation Desk. Ask a librarian for assistance.

As you begin, narrow your topic to a size that you can manage.  Consider keywords that will help you find the information you need. These can be names of people, literary works, events, or broader identifying terms.  Use these keywords for locating information in the library catalog, electronic databases, and on the internet. 

The Assignment

Open the documents below for the research paper and group presentation guidelines.

Contact Professor Keel with any questions you may have about the assignments.


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Ernest J. Gaines (1933-)

After a white landowner, renowned for his cruelty to his black neighbors, is shot to death, eighteen elderly black men take up their shotguns and congregate on the porch of their friend, Mathu, who has been accused of the murder. All claim to have done the shooting themselves. Gaines' tale presents a moving description of how people are capable of asserting their independence after lifetimes of subservience in a racist community. He advances his story by presenting successive monologues by 15 different individuals, both black and white. In a unique voice, each describes the situation from a first person perspective while reflecting on past injustices. This novel about the changing racial attitudes and realities of the South is set in rural Louisiana.

"We wait till now? Now, when we're old men, we get to be brave?"

Book Jacket for "A Gathering of Old Men"

Books in the Reserve Collection

Ask at the circulation desk for 2 hour use in the library.

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