Giovanni’s Room

by

James Baldwin

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Giovanni’s Room can help.

Giovanni’s Room Characters

David

The narrator and protagonist of Giovanni’s Room, David is a man in his mid-20s living in Paris. A handsome blonde American, he stands out in Paris as desirable and innocent, though the gay men… read analysis of David

Giovanni

Giovanni is a young, attractive Italian man living in Paris, and the first man with whom David has a long-term relationship. When his first child died in the womb, Giovanni cursed God and decided to… read analysis of Giovanni

Hella

Hella is an American woman living in Europe, and David’s fiancée. Hella is an intelligent and kind woman who decides to travel in Spain alone after David proposes to her. Leaving him in Paris… read analysis of Hella

Jacques

Jacques is an older gay man living in Paris. A wealthy American businessman, Jacques was born in Belgium and now leads a somewhat lavish life in France, where he hosts orgies and often has relationships… read analysis of Jacques

Guillaume

The owner of the bar in which David and Giovanni first meet, Guillaume is an older gay man who belongs to a well-respected French family. Like Jacques, he uses his money to convince attractive… read analysis of Guillaume
Get the entire Giovanni’s Room LitChart as a printable PDF.
Giovanni’s Room PDF

David’s Father

David’s father is an American man who, along with his sister, Ellen, raises David. After David’s mother dies when he’s only five, his father devotes himself to him, though he doesn’t know how… read analysis of David’s Father

Joey

Joey is David’s childhood friend, and the first male with whom David has a sexual encounter. Spending all of their time together over one summer, David and Joey kiss and explore each other’s bodies… read analysis of Joey

Ellen

Ellen is David’s aunt and his father’s sister. After David’s mother dies, Ellen comes to live with him and his father, eventually becoming critical of his father’s parenting because he drinks and stays… read analysis of Ellen

Sue

Sue is an American woman living in Paris. Although she doesn’t run in the same circles as David, he’s familiar enough with her to know that he would never find her attractive. Nevertheless, he… read analysis of Sue