Giovanni's Room Themes

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Shame is the driving force in David's life and ultimately the cause of the unhappy situation he finds himself in at the end of the story. After his sexual encounter with Joey, which seems perfectly innocent and shameless when it happens, David is disgusted with the act, with himself, and even with Joey. He is still a young man and is afraid of losing his masculinity before he even fully possesses it. He keeps his sexuality a secret, but it still unconsciously influences his decisions. In retrospect, he realizes that his homosexuality led him to Europe where, perhaps, he thought he might find a culture that was more accepting of it. Society is not what is restraining David, however; it is himself, and no matter where he moves, he will carry his own obsession with being "normal" wherever he goes.

He finally...

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This section contains 990 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Giovanni's Room Study Guide
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