A Gathering of Old Men

Ernest J. Gaines
Quotes

Important Quotations Explained

Quotes Important Quotations Explained

Quote 1

"He works in mysterious ways, don't He."

Mat makes this statement to Chimley in Chapter 4 after learning about Beau's murder. Mat believes that Beau's murder has presented a special opportunity to both Chimley and himself: the opportunity to redefine themselves. Both Mat and Chimley now are old men, who have spent much of their life being psychologically and physically beaten down by the racist restrictions of the South. Suddenly with the crisis at hand, God is granting them one last opportunity to make something of themselves. By confessing to Beau's murder, by standing up for their friend, and by not yielding to the local whites, the men will be able to throw off their identities as cowards and bravely stand up for something. Because the men will be able to salvage their dignity before dying, Mat believes that Beau's murder represents some strange form of a blessing from God. Both Mat and Chimley rejoice in being given the chance to show the strong men that they truly are.