In A Gathering of Old Men, by Ernest J. Gaines, racism plays a huge part of life in the south. When a white man is found dead; his family and friends start to gather to find the man who did this. After time these men start to drink and make a plan to kill the man; who just happened to be black. This just shows how even though the Civil was brought freedom to blacks, there is still hate towards them because of their skin color. After time the black men also start to gather at Mathu’s house (the man who murdered the white man) and they all bring twelve gauge shotguns. The sheriff arrives and asks who killed that man, and all the black men say, “it was me.” The sheriff then threatens to take them all to prison, but he cannot because he does not know who the murder is. The sheriff knowing the racism of the town; has a deputy stand on Mathus sidewalk to make sure nothing happens. As time goes by and the white men are starting to get angry the man who’s son was killed steps in and says “this cannot go on any longer.” This shows how after time color or race does not matter to people, and how after time a man is a man and a woman is a woman. This upsets the rest of the men even more because this shows them how they are not superior to the black men anymore. As time goes on the sheriff is starting to worry even more; because he knows the men have been drinking excessively. When night falls the sheriff and his men go home, praying that nothing will happen. By this time the white men are very drunk and want revenge. To the white men’s surprise when they arrive to Mathu’s house they are out numbered at least two to one. The white men realize that they are going to loose once again. When the white men start to shoot this shows how childish people are when they are not on top of the world. The white men all die and lie dead in the street when the sheriff arrives the next morning. Even though six men were killed the sheriff does not do anything because he knows the whit men were the cause. When the color of a person’s skin or their religion means enough to people to kill them, it is childish and this should be put to a stop.
Word Count: 421