Analysis Of James Baldwin 's ' Blues For Mister Charlie '

2119 WordsMay 15, 20179 Pages
James Baldwin in his play “Blues for Mister Charlie” describes the racial hatred between the white town and the black town. The play concerns with Richard, a black man who returns to the South with a gun to recover from drug addiction and start a new life. Richard carries a gun with him as he returns, but he passes the gun to his father voluntarily. At the end, Richard was killed by a white man named Lyle for his provocative behavior. Why is Richard carrying a gun and why did he gives it to Meridian? Richard is afraid of being exposed as weak and vulnerable because it will compromise his felt sense of masculinity; therefore, he carries a gun to make his appearance as a strong man who would never bow down to oppression. Richard was…show more content…
Unfortunately, he continues to experience discrimination which weakened his masculinity. Self-blame and low self-esteem caused his drug addiction. He uses drugs to mask his vulnerability, and he carries a gun to prove his masculinity. After struggling in the North, Richard moved back to the Southern town of his birth to recover from the addiction. He was aware of the racial violence caused by the Jim Crow Laws. Richard was afraid to end up like his mother, so he carried a gun with him as he goes back to the South for protection. When his grandmother found out that he has had the gun for a long time, Richard insists in keeping the gun and he commanded her not to tell his father, Meridian of the gun. However, after the interactions with Juanita and Lyle, Richard gives the gun to his father voluntarily. What causes Richard to change his mind and give the gun to his father? Given Richard’s provocative behavior toward Lyle, one might suggests that Richard pass the gun to Meridian because he wants to be defenseless. He offends Lyle hoping that he will retaliates and eventually ends his life. But why would he want to die? Perhaps because he fails to pursue his dream to become a blues singer in the place where African American can succeed. In addition, his drug addiction had made his life a mess and Richard choose to be defenseless just to end the suffering of discrimination. Instead of passing the gun to people

More about Analysis Of James Baldwin 's ' Blues For Mister Charlie '

Open Document