The Ways In Which The Names Of The Following Characters Illuminate Their Roles In The Text: John, Roy, Gabriel, Elizabeth, And Elisha In The Novel "Go Tell It On The Mountain" By Ernest Gaines.

1213 words - 5 pages

In "Go Tell It on the Mountain", author James Baldwin describes the course of the fourteenth birthday of John Grimes in Harlem, 1935. Baldwin also uses extended flashback episodes to recount the lives of John's parents and aunt and to link this urban boy in the North to his slave grandmother in an earlier South. The first section follows John's thoughts, the second mostly his aunt's, the third his father's, the fourth his mother's, and the fifth again mostly John's. In "Go Tell It on the Mountain", author James Baldwin describes the course of the fourteenth birthday of John Grimes in Harlem, 1935.Baldwin also uses extended flashback episodes to recount the lives of John's parents and aunt and to link this urban boy in the North to his slave grandmother in an earlier South. The first section follows John's thoughts, the second mostly his aunt's, the third his father's, the fourth his mother's, and the fifth again mostly John's. The title "Go Tell It on the Mountain" comes from a Negro spiritual. The novel is steeped in the language of the King James Bible, and the Bible is a constant presence in the characters' lives; thus, if the reader has a familiarity with Biblical stories then their understanding of the text is more enhanced. The biblical allusions even surfaces with the names of the characters. The names John, Gabriel, Elizabeth, Roy, and Elisha all are some form of biblical allusion. John, Elisha, Elizabeth, and Gabriel are all names of profound people in the Living Word. The name Roy has its own significance to the Holy Bible, a significance which has to do will hope and a great ministry.John turns 14 on the morning the story begins. Both attracted and repulsed by the church, his father, and everything his father represents, John is anguished and deeply confused. He longs to experience all the world has to offer, but he is terrified by sin. His name is a biblical name and it s the representation of four different characters in the good book. These characters are John the revealer who wrote revelations, as well as John the Baptist who paved the way for the Son of Man, also there was John the divine who wrote Saint John and last but not least there was John the Beloved who was the disciple. John Grimes seemed to have a bit of all four Johns in him and Gaines did an excellent job at showing his roundness. John at the end of the story realizes that he truly believes in the word of the Lord. This showed his divine side. He was the first born to his mother Elizabeth, meaning he came before the rest of his brothers just as John came before Christ. John in the story was a "disciple" of Elisha, he looked up to him for advice and he wanted to be at the same spiritual level as he was. He may have fallen in love with Elisha but he still admired him as John the disciple loved Christ and all the disciples loved Christ.Gabriel is a hard, religious man. Despite his pious mother's prayers and beatings, Gabriel was wild and sinful--until he was born again...

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