The Book A Single Man Essay

1605 words - 6 pages

Moneque BeckfordCorrine E. BlackmerEnglish 2189/16/12A Representative of Hope: A Single ManChristopher Isherwood's novel A Single Man was written in 1964 when there was much prejudice against gay men. It is one day in the life of a single man, George. George is an English professor at the San Tomas State College. George, a homosexual has lost his husband Jim; although he grapples to come to the term with the loss, he feels a sense of hopefulness in life. George later discovers that although hopeless, he represents a symbol of hope for his students at the San Thomas State College.Hope is the evidence of things one wishes to attain that are unseen; they are not in visible, they are not tangible, but one yearns, dreams, and longs to attain those things which they desire. It is the little strand of thread that we hold on to when we feel as if we are reaching our threshold of pain and life circumstances seems too unbearable. For the students of San Tomas State College, Kenny, their teacher, represents that source of strength, that little voice that keeps whispering to them to go on, that little thread that they can hold on to and face life challenges another time.When Georges gets up in the morning he arises almost reluctantly, he struggles to put himself together as the reality of Jim's passing presents itself another time. He tells himself that, "It must get dressed up in clothes because it is going outside into the world of other people; and these other people must be able to identify it". "Every day is like a routine to him, he calls himself "it," because he has not identified who he is as yet, so he puts on a façade, wears a mask of what people think the usual George should look like, but underneath that mask lies a man deeply scarred, deeply hurt. Beneath it all lies a man who cannot seem after one year to start to pick up the pieces of what use to be a happy and normal life before Jim's death. For example, the narrator notes that "Every day is labeled with the date" [pg. 9], the date of Jim's passing, the date before his present feeling of low self-worth and hopelessness, and soon after he put on "its" worldly image of who he is, "he knows its name, he is now George, a teacher and professor at San Tomas State College" [pg. 11]. When Georges arrives at his job, and as he enters his classroom, he stands there in front of his students, as his thoughts of hopelessness begins to slowly emerge in his thoughts another time. He thinks to himself about what will become of these students? What chances have they? What point is there to their life and their existence? He wants to yell to them, to them to give up, to throw in the towel, to pack their bags and go home, because there is no point to living, no point to want to make a future their yourself, because life is a big disappointment, one problem after the other, a hopeless and tedious journey; but In the back of his somewhat still lucid and sane mind, he knows he cannot do that, he knows he...

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