Go Tell It on the Mountain

by

James Baldwin

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Florence’s ex-husband. According to Florence, Frank is “determined to live and die a common [n_____].” Frank “drinks too much” and “sings the blues.” He is never able to buy Florence a house, or anything else for that matter, and he frequently wastes their money on “useless objects.” Aside from his financial irresponsibility, Frank is not altogether a bad man, although he does disregard Florence when she refuses him sex. Frank’s disregard of Florence suggests that he believes sex is something that is owed to him that she has no right to refuse, and this is in keeping with the misogyny that pervades most of the novel. Florence claims that it was her “great mistake” to love Frank so “bitterly,” and he leaves her after ten years of marriage. He lives briefly with another woman in town and then dies in France during World War I.
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Frank Character Timeline in Go Tell It on the Mountain

The timeline below shows where the character Frank appears in Go Tell It on the Mountain. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2: The Prayers of the Saints: Florence’s Prayer
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Florence’s late husband, Frank, “drank too much” and “sang the blues.” Once he grew a “tiny mustache,” but Florence... (full context)
Sex and Morality Theme Icon
Frank had left Florence after ten years of marriage, over twenty years ago now. Back then,... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
It had been Florence’s “great mistake” to love Frank “so bitterly.” She believes that “all women” have been “cursed from the cradle” to “suffer... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Gender, the Patriarchy, and Misogyny Theme Icon
Frank had never been able to buy Florence a house, or anything else for that matter.... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Gender, the Patriarchy, and Misogyny Theme Icon
Florence’s harsh words had trailed into the next room where Frank’s friends sat. “And what you want me to do, Florence?” Frank had asked her. “You... (full context)
Sex and Morality Theme Icon
Gender, the Patriarchy, and Misogyny Theme Icon
While Frank and Florence frequently fought, she often felt his “love” and “tenderness” was “real.” He would... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Gender, the Patriarchy, and Misogyny Theme Icon
For ten years Frank and Florence fought, and now she wonders if she had “been wrong to fight so... (full context)
Faith and Religion Theme Icon
Sex and Morality Theme Icon
...right there in the same town what he’s scared to call his own,” Florence told Frank. Frank was immediately confused. Gabriel is supposed to be a preacher. “Being a preacher ain’t... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Gender, the Patriarchy, and Misogyny Theme Icon
Frank was silent. “I don’t know why you keep wasting all your time and my money... (full context)