Different Forms Of Love In James Baldwin's Another Country

Decent Essays

The concept of love is often a misunderstood term; Webster's Dictionary defines it as “a strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties” but what that vague explanation doesn’t reveal are the beautiful, messy, destructive, complicated elements that align with the word. It is a term that is entirely complex, yet to those who have not experienced it, it is merely the dry definition that breeds simplicity. James Baldwin displays a vivid image of the intricate word in his novel “Another Country” which tells the stories of artists, mainly in New York, struggling to love and be loved amid the complexities of racism, sexism, and homophobia. It is about love, and the many different forms that it takes--- romantic love, self love, and even platonic love; it also shows how society impacts that love. In “Another Country” Baldwin poses a troubling question: How do different forms of oppression affect one’s ability to love? Throughout the novel, Baldwin displays multiple forms of oppression from racism to homophobia and sexism. He beautifully exhibits the struggles of love within diverse relationships through a few characters. The Norton Introduction to Literature describes a winning work of literature as “an experience... that engages our emotions, our imagination, and all of our senses, as well as our intellects”; Baldwin’s “Another Country” most definitely falls into the category of works of artistic value. The author expresses experiences of diverse

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