Abstract This thesis looks at how shame is depicted in James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room. In doing so, it looks both at how David, the main character in the novel, experiences his own shame in the moment, and how shame can also be seen in the way he tells his story retrospectively. Since David is both the protagonist and the narrator in this novel, both of his roles are analyzed and held up against theories of how shame shows and behaves. To understand how shame works, the thesis uses the works of Brené Brown, Alan Downs and Erving Goffman, while for its understanding of narrative theory, it leans mainly on Shlomith Rimmon-Kenan’s Narrative Fiction. In looking at the literary devices used to tell David’s story, the analysis shows how shame can reveal itself in a number of concrete and interesting ways, such as through analepsis, prolepsis, the use of a foreign language, typology, paragraph structure, and chapter divisions. It also shows how shame shows up in more subtle ways, such as through metaphors, irony, ellipsis, various kinds of focalization, ambiguous dialogue, repetition, and various types of evasion. Due to the fact that, up until quite recently, relatively little research has been done on the intense emotion of shame, there is no wonder that few other literary researchers have used theories about shame to understand literature. In this respect, this thesis aims at breaking new ground by precisely combining shame research and literary theory. However, this thesis will also show how literature does not necessarily need theories from other sciences to be understood, but, rather, can function as theory on its own terms. In this way, Giovanni’s Room is not only a novel that tells a story about a character who feels shame, but is also, at the same time, a text that explains, directly and indirectly, the anatomy of shame.