Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Thomas A. Holmes

Committee Members

Kevin E. O'Donnell, Mark Holland


This study examines the African-American author Ernest Gaines's three works The Sky is Gray, In My Father's House, and A Lesson before Dying as examples of oppressed manhood, and the gradual acceptance of the characteristics of manhood in Black males. Chapter One focuses on The Sky Is Gray and follows the young hero as he makes his transition from child to a young man understanding manhood. The second chapter looks at In My Father's House, exploring the relationship between father and son. Due to his father's abandonment, the son never learns what it means to be a man. However, at the same time his son is struggling to discover his manhood, the father finally becomes a man. Finally, chapter three centers on A Lesson before Dying, showing two males can learn manhood from each other. Although both are oppressed, together they achieve the manhood that is being robbed from them.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.