I wanted to continue writing about what Carly started writing about in terms of our group discussion on Tuesday. I really like the analysis of “burning” as Gabriel feeling like he is already in Hell. But I also think the symbolism behind the name Royal is something worth discussing because Esther named their son Royal just to mock Gabriel. She did this because he had once said he would give his son this name because the descendants of the faithful are a royal line. It is super ironic that the son is named Royal despite these awful circumstances that the child was conceived in. The way it is written also highlights the degree of un-faithfulness that Gabriel has. Baldwin writes, “Had Royal, his son, been conceived that night? Or the next night? Or the next? It had lasted only nine days” (Baldwin 124). The word “only” is very interesting here because nine days seems like a very long time for a “mistake” to be made. This doesn’t seem to be a mistake due to circumstances, but a mistake due to character. The fact that John, the only son who is not part of his “royal” family line is so spiritually connected is very hard for Gabriel. But it almost seems like God is spiting him for naming his sons so highly while sinning so frequently.
I really enjoyed the overall structure of Go Tell It on the Mountain by the end of the novel. The only thing I didn’t really understand the point of was why the family tree was not clearly explained at the beginning of the novel. But I like how each central character was given their own individual chapter with a flashback that explained some of their current behavior and also explained their relationship with religion. It is interesting to me how much each character’s chapter revolves around religion- from the biblical names to the flashback visions. I really appreciate that John was the main character of the novel but the other characters affecting him were still described in complex ways as well. It is so important to acknowledge that people are the way that they are for a reason.