Rage in Baldwin's Stranger in the Village Essay

578 Words 3 Pages
Rage in Baldwin's Stranger in the Village

The rage of the disesteemed is personally fruitless, but it is also absolutely inevitable; this rage, so generally discounted, so little understood even among the people whose daily bread it is, is one of the things that makes history. -- James Baldwin, ?Stranger in the Village? (130) In his essay 'Stranger in the Village' (1955), many of James Baldwin?s innermost feelings are exposed to the reader. One of the emotions I believe Baldwin feels most strongly is rage. He is angry at the fact that only whites are looked upon as humans, while the black man is looked upon as chattel. Baldwin mentions the word 'rage' several times in his essay and discusses the reasons why he is filled
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The past brings out strong emotions in Baldwin leading him to express his feelings by writing.

In paragraph 10, Baldwin describes the feeling of rage explicitly. He explains that ?rage? is unavoidable and that one cannot ignore it. The rage of people caught in situations, as Baldwin puts it in the epigraph that frames this essay, causes ?rage? on an everyday basis but still cannot be fully comprehended. The rage of the American Negro can only partially be rationalized by the white people with complications and ?never entirely? subdued by the American Negro. This powerful anger cannot be concealed or disguised because it would become deceitful and invigorate ?rage? and add to its unpleasantness (130-131). Additionally, rage is by far the strongest emotion one can experience, especially if repressed. For instance, Baldwin had a lot of anger and hostility built inside of him because of his troubled past and agitated feelings. These feelings grow inside of Baldwin because he cannot fit into a society that accepts him as an ?exotic rarity? (131), not a human being.

In paragraphs 7 and 8, Baldwin alludes to his hostility towards white people. Baldwin supposes that there is an immense distinction between being the first white person to be seen by black people and to be the first black person to be seen by white people. Baldwin asserts that it is not fair that a white man can come to a new
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