Go Tell It On The Mountain Essay

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Go Tell It On The Mountain In James Baldwin’s 1952 novel “Go Tell It On The Mountain” the characters in the novel each embark on a spiritual journey. Baldwin has dedicated a chapter to each member of the Grimes family, detailing their trails and tribulations, hopes and aspirations, as each one’s quest to get closer to God becomes a battle. I have chosen the character John because I admire the fierce struggle he endured to find his spirituality. I will examine how he’s embarked on his quest and prove that he has done it with integrity and dignity. This novel is set in 1935 in Harlem, New York City. A small church congregation comes together for Sunday evening mass. The congregation is made up of close friends and family.…show more content…
This added pressure consumed him and he knew on his 14th birthday, which was fast approaching, that the expectations to find his place would be great. In the last chapter of this novel, “The Threshing-Floor”, Baldwin dedicates this chapter to John’s journey to his spirituality. In the opening chapter John describes a feeling of possession as he and his congregation is in pray. Baldwin narrates the events happening to John, “And something moved in John’s body which was not John. He was invaded, set naught, possessed. This power had struck John, in the head or in the heart;” As his mind is taken on this journey he feels like he’s lost mobility. His body becomes weightless, but he does not want to subdue, he fights to rise up. He does not want to fall, because he feels like it’s a dungeon deeper then hell. In his trace he sees his family all about him and the congregation members. John does what I would do, he looks towards his father for help, when he looks into his face, what he sees is not light, but darkness. There was no warmth or compassion from his father. This is why he felt the way he did towards his father; he loathed him because that is what his father showed him. His feelings of hatred is depicted in this passage narrated by Baldwin, “Yes, he had sinned: one morning, alone, in the dirt bathroom, in the square, dirt-gray cupboard room that was filled with the stink of his father.
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