A Gathering Of Old Men Essays Example
The society has had a history of sharp divisions among various races throughout history. This has led to the development of deep-seated racism among families and double standards in the application of law and justice. When families fail to fulfill their responsibilities, they slide into subjugation. When they succeed, they assume a certain superiority complex.
Lawlessness is more than just the violation of justice. Lawlessness refers to the complete disregard of existing laws and statutes. Lawlessness is the failure to obey rules, stipulations and maintain order. Lawlessness cannot be used as a different form of justice because it will create chaos. To build peaceful and orderly societies, all the laws need to be observed, and any redress can only happen in courts. The mantra is to follow and seek redress in courts.
Justice is the fair application of the law that is, applying the law in the fairest manner possible and avoiding any kind of bias and any forms of favoritism. Justice is a good thing since it facilitates a balanced redress to victims. A just society is one that is at peace with itself that is devoid of disgruntlement or disillusionment. Justice can be achieved in different kinds of societies when law is applied to the letter without any undue favoritism or bias. Justice is the tool used to correct lawlessness in a society. Justice is synonymous with law and legality because all aspire for trhe creation of harmonious societies.
The institutions involved with law and justice are the police and the judiciary. The security apparatus more so the police maintain law order while the judiciary interprets the laws for the fair application.
The novel ‘A Gathering of Old Men’ was written by Ernest J. Gaines in the year 1983. The story is set in Bayou country, a tiny region in Louisiana between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Some events that took place in the past and that influence the events in the fictional present are the relocation of about 3000 Cajun people to Southern Louisiana along Mississippi River and Bayous. The thriving of Cajun community met opposition from the Creoles who claimed local aristocracy. The conflict led to the creation of cultural and social divisions. Conflicts related to these historical factors include a clash of cultures and economies. The Cajuns are considered as poor and inferior by the creoles. To solve economic conflicts, the white population shares crops with the African Americans and Cajuns also become sharecroppers later on.
The novel is set in the agrarian-based culture in the United States just before the World War II. Some of the political considerations to be taken into account include the compulsory education and use of English as the language of instruction that had been mandated by the state government effectively leading to elimination of French language spoken by Creoles.
Some of the historical events that are salient for understanding the plot, the characters, and/or the society depicted in the novel include the slavery and migration of Cajuns to Louisiana.
The main types of families that are depicted in the novel are extended families comprising of grandparents, parents and grandchildren living together. The society expects each family member to play their distinct roles as prescribed by society.
Social class serves to depict the existing economic differences between the various races. These economic differences are the root cause of economic conflicts that characterize this society. The Cajuns who become successful graduate into a different social class and they start to associate themselves freely with the Creoles who feel they are aristocrats in this society. Social Class serves to depict boundaries that exist between the various racial groups.
There are no forces or conditions that inhibit justice or that make it difficult to be obtained. In the concluding courtroom trial, all the defendants are tried together, and they all receive the same penalty.
Gaines, Ernest J. A gathering of old men. Vintage, 2012.