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Denial: Internal struggle of a homosexual

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Temple

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Edward B.
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  1. David's sense of isolation in adulthood.
  2. David's sexual development.
  3. David's flight to Europe.
  4. David's sense of normality.
  5. His relationship with Giovanni and his infidelity of Hella.

James Baldwin's? Giovanni's Room? explores the internal struggle of a homosexual in denial. The main character, David, faces an internal conflict that eventually destroys every relationship he encounters in his personal life. His own struggle with his sexuality began at an early age and is directly linked to his relationship with his parents. David's failure to come to terms with his homosexuality is the mixed result of poor parenting that left him unable to reach emotional adulthood and his own insecurities with what he deems to be social deviance.

[...] For Baldwin, "sexuality was a mobile, permeable terrain that could not be contained within fixed boundaries of a stable identity. Especially in his fiction, identity, desire, and practice do not always line up neatly and may even shift over time."(Corber 168). David represents the uncertainty of an underdeveloped emotional state. This lack of emotional growth has left David with an uncertainty about his sexuality. Even though everyone around David understands him to be a homosexual, David's lack of emotional maturity leaves him unable to come to terms with the truth. [...]


[...] Much of his struggle with his homosexuality comes from his desire to keep his masculinity which he feels gay men are unable to do. David's sense of normality is so deeply rooted in heterosexuality that he is sometimes offended by his own sexuality. He wavers between embracing his sexual nature and completely denying it. James Baldwin uses David to present two different view points of homosexuality. When his relationship with Giovanni is going well and David accepts who he is, "Baldwin depicts homoerotic love as the natural and wholesome interaction of innocent characters whose love transcends the degeneracy of the gay Parisian underground and is capable of healing and reformation"(DeGout 426). [...]

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