In My Father's House Summary
Ernest Gaines

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In My Father's House Summary

In My Father's House explores a universal range of social concerns, although many of them are by-products of racism. It concentrates on matters that were only subthemes in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1971): the oppression of women, marital infidelity, social instability amid the poverty and uncertainty of a racist society, the isolation of those who seek to effect change, and the neglect of children.

The pivotal ethical predicament of the novel is the dilemma of the main character, Phillip Martin, who has, in an earlier life, abandoned his wife and three children. This action comes back to haunt him after he has remarried and become a prominent minister and civic leader. His son, Etienne, suddenly appears in St. Adrienne, Louisiana, having adopted the name Robert X. (That these names suggest the civil rights leaders, Martin Luther King, Jr.

and Malcolm X has been noted by several...

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In My Father's House Short Guide