The Gathering of Old Men Notes
Setting: Marshall Plantation
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...
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