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A Gathering of Old Men

Ernest J. Gaines

Full-Book Quiz

Study Questions and Suggested Essay Topics

Suggestions for Further Reading

1. Which character has just been murdered when the book begins?

2. Who does Sheriff Mapes thinks murdered Beau?

3. Who actually murdered Beau?

4. Who owns the Marshall Plantation?

5. Why does Fix decide not to revenge his son's death?

6. Why doesn't Mapes immediately arrest someone for the crime?

7. Who is Candy's boyfriend?

8. Who is Candy most trying to protect?

9. Which black man thinks that everyone should just go home and not fight?

10. Why does everyone in the area know Gil Bauton?

11. What characters are killed during the shootout?

12. What crop is primarily grown on the plantation?

13. Who runs the local bar/corner store?

14. Who is the maid in the Marshall house?

15. Who is the child narrator in the novel?

16. Which character fought during the First World War?

17. Which characters are shot but not killed during the shootout?

18. What does Jack Marshall do after Beau's murder?

19. Which people took over Candy's education after her parents' death?

20. Who leads the crew to revenge Beau's death?

21. What do the would-be lynchers do before going to the plantation?

22. What does Candy want the men to bring to Mathu's house?

23. Who does not confess to killing Beau Boutan?

24. Why does everyone think that Mathu killed Beau?

25. What does Miss Merle bring to the plantation in the afternoon?

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3 Comments

2 out of 29 people found this helpful

THIS IS THE WORST BOOK YOU WILL EVER READ

by sleepatschool, December 06, 2015

You will not be able to follow this book at all. Im sorry if you have to read this

2 Comments

7 out of 10 people found this helpful

A good fishing story, not quite real

by VernerHornung, October 31, 2016

I recommend not over-analyzing this novel, written to meet a 1980s multiculturalist standard less tilted than today’s. Charlie appears borderline disabled intellectually, which gives Beau an opening to chase him, a thing Beau otherwise couldn’t have done without repercussions. That Candy likes “her people” (Mathu and the other Marshall farmhands) was necessary then but condemned as patronizing today. The attempted lynching and shootout are implausible after mid-1960s and holding a trial only days after a crime hasn’t been seen sinc