Date of Award

Fall 12-17-2011

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

English Teaching



Major Professor

Earle Bryant (Co-Major Professor)

Second Advisor

Kris Lackey (Co-Major Professor)

Third Advisor

Daniel Doll


According to Ernest Gaines‘ personal experiences as a Southerner, without addressing the history of slavery, the quest for human dignity becomes meaningless. The discourses and the ideologies of the characters in AGathering of Old Men represent a call for social change. A Gathering of Old Men is however, more than just a novel about whites dominating blacks; it is a novel about the fight for humanity in spite of the threat of a new social order. The social repercussions of slavery and the denial of black manhood are central issues in A Gathering of Old Men, but Gaines also exhibits ways in which the demand for a social change in our society can bring about racial harmony.


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