Journal 9

Journal 9 - Johnson showed Thomas his hands and they were...

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Kyle Garrity Professor Dorothy Howell EN-102-03 Journal 9 due 3/3/08 Throughout the novel, the Gentleman and the guitar continued to intrigue me by their mysteriousness and affects on Johnson and Victor. When the Gentleman was first mentioned on page four, I guessed that Johnson was referring to white folk. “‘I’m careful with my hands,’ the black man said. ‘[The Gentleman] might hear me if I use my hands.’” Considering the time period of the novel and Johnson’s race, it was a possibility. However, on the next page, Thomas asks who Johnson’s traveling partner was, and Johnson responded by lifting his guitar and saying “My best friend, but I ain’t gonna tell y’all his name. The Gentleman might hear and come runnin’. He gets into the strings, you hear?” When I read that last sentence, I realized that the Gentleman could not be white folk, but must be some sort of supernatural power. It sounded as if the guitar was haunted.
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Unformatted text preview: Johnson showed Thomas his hands and they were burned and scarred, and told Thomas “This is what happens” when he plays the guitar. My belief that the guitar contained supernatural powers was confirmed when Johnson tells Thomas, “I sold my soul to the Gentleman so I could play this damn guitar better than anybody ever played the guitar.” (pg. 8) At this point I decided that the Gentleman must be a reference to the devil. The guitar was not just a communicator/host for the devil, but a representation of every human’s strongest temptations. Johnson gave his soul and freedom to the devil so that he could play the guitar, just as Victor gave up his best friend so that he could become somebody. All four of these characters proved to be interesting throughout the novel and demonstrated one of Alexie’s lessons, which is never to give in to the bad temptations of the devil....
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Journal 9 - Johnson showed Thomas his hands and they were...

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