Skip to main content


Showing posts from April, 2008

Self Contempt in James Baldwin ' s Novel " Giovanni ' s Room "

James Baldwin’s “Giovanni’s Room” is a poignant take on self contempt and personal deception. David is a young man who not only attempts to deceive himself, but deceives others along the way. In today’s world of trite pop psychology we tend to focus on the harm we cause ourselves through self-deception, but Baldwin’s story points out the pain and suffering our attempts at self deception can inflict on those around us. Sometimes we inflict pain upon those unfortunate enough to love us when they reveal or reflect traits we cannot accept in ourselves. David is a young man who cannot accept his own homosexual tendencies. As a teenager he establishes a pattern which will follow him into adulthood. He makes love to a boy, then projects his self contempt onto that boy by bullying and degrading him. Years later, David meets a man named Giovanni but cannot accept the love which develops between them. He leaves Giovanni without explanation, and ignores what they have been to each other until he