In the essay, Stranger in the Village, James Baldwin talks about his experience as an African American visiting a small village in Switzerland who has never seen an African American before. In the small village Baldwin is seen as something magical and so unusual to them because of the color of his skin. Even after going back to the village several times he still feels like a stranger. To portray his experiences of racism Baldwin strongly uses pathos throughout his essay. He describes the sense of never belonging whether in America or in a small village of Switzerland. Baldwin uses pathos to argue that there is a way to stop racism in the village with the children but America and the adults in the village have too much history to have the same innocence as the children of the village.
Baldwin first uses pathos to describe his experiences when walking through the streets of the small Switzerland village the first time. He states, “I remain as much a stranger today as I was the first day I arrived, and the children shout Neger! Neger! as I walk along the streets” (252). Baldwin later on describes how shocked he was at the children for saying this but then realizing that they are too sheltered to understand what they said means. Baldwin describes his reaction, “I knew that they did not mean to be unkind.. The children who shout Neger! Neger! have no way of knowing the echoes this sound raises in me” (253). Baldwin seem to allow these racist words from the kids because of their
The white world had shut the door on him and he finally conceded the burden of being black. Baldwin affirms, "I had discovered the weight of the white people in the world" (222). Baldwin realized that his father was not trying to pass along his racist beliefs. He was simply trying to save them from the agonizing conduct of the whites towards them. He found the reason behind the bitterness in his father. Baldwin also became aware that the bitterness, which he had once hated in his father, was now a part of him "The bitterness which had helped to kill my father could also kill me" (222). Baldwin did not want live a lonely life; the fear of becoming, what his father once was, dwelled in Baldwin. He realized that he had to free himself of the bitterness, before the bitterness distanced him from his family (like it had, for his father).
Baldwin gives a vivid sketch of the depressing conditions he grew up on in Fifth Avenue, Uptown by using strong descriptive words. He makes use of such word choices in his beginning sentences when he reflects back to his house which is now replaced by housing projects and “one of those stunted city trees is
On one hand James Baldwin is addressing his letter to his nephew, but on the other hand the text is also applicable to the entire black community who is oppressed by society; and to the whites who need to recognize the need for equality. Baldwin addresses the letter to the teenager, James, and additionally descriptively clarifies how this deadly situation applies to many dark-skinned men. Contrastingly, the novelist realizes how the privileged population will hear this message as well, which Baldwin makes clear when he metaphorically states, “I hear the chorus of the innocents screaming, ‘No! This is not true! How bitter you are!’”(Baldwin
Baldwin uses the experiences he faced in New Jersey and the personal relationship with his father to show ethos throughout his essay. At one point in his essay, Baldwin finds himself in New Jersey where segregation still exist. “I learned in New Jersey…one was never looked at but was simply at the mercy of the reflexes the color of one’s skin caused in other people” (68). Here Baldwin expresses how circumstances in New Jersey were like at the time, but also portrays the way people were viewed based on the color of their skin. Baldwin later goes on to mention the year he spent in New Jersey, was the year in which “[he] first contracted some dread, chronic disease” (70). This “disease” Baldwin contracted is not an actual disease, but more of a way in which he begins to feel and see the world around him differently. The disease Baldwin is referring to throughout his entire essay is bitterness. Living in New Jersey caused Baldwin to gain the sense of bitterness that his father had lived with during his life. Baldwin’s bitterness comes from the way he was specifically treated in New Jersey and how he allowed that feeling to affect his behaviors. Baldwin specifically mentions the moment in New Jersey where the white waitress approaches him at the restaurant stating, “We don’t serve Negroes here” (71). At this point we begin to see Baldwin as he acts out in violence by stating, “I wanted her to come close enough for me to get her neck
African American racial tension has decreased drastically, since the fifties our country has leaps and bounds towards equality. James Baldwin wrote Stranger in the Village, and he wrote about his experience living in a small Swiss village and how he was able to evaluate the American society and its issues of race. Baldwin specifically focused on African American racial issues. Baldwin makes arguments about how race is treated much different in Europe, he also argued how there are still a lot of problems with American society that need to be changed. I agree with Baldwin's thoughts however this essay is outdated and isn't completely relevant to our society today; however some of the broader ideas are.
In James Baldwin's letter to his nephew, written one hundred years after the Emancipation Proclamation, Baldwin emphasizes on the issue of segregation and the challenge to not earn acceptance from a white society. Baldwins purpose is to explain not only to his fifteen year old nephew, but all young people of color in the future generations that the real issue at hand is to find acceptance for white culture in themselves rather than seeking acceptance into white culture. Baldwin achieves this purpose by using Aristotle's appeal of ethos and pathos. Baldwin used ethos as he adopts a passionate tone in order to represent his view and convince his nephew, his nephews generation and the future generations to come of his purpose. Baldwins passionate and confident tone is seen through his constant use or repetition and restatements of phrases in order to reinforce his statement. For example Baldwin uses anaphora to convince the audience of what he had seen and experienced due to the racism that exists in America, “I know what the world has done to my brother and how narrowly he has survived it and I know, which is much worse, and this is the crime of which I accuse my country and my countrymen and for which neither I nor time nor history will ever forgive them. By repeating I know multiple times, further reinforces Baldwins concrete and passionate tone”. This leads and convinces his audience of his argument on acceptance. Baldwin then uses pathos to grab the audience's emotional attention in order to build an emotional agreement to Baldwin's purpose of acceptance. By using constant repetition of the word you throughout the letter, it is as if Baldwin is speaking
The text continues with Baldwin warning his nephew about the struggle he is going to endure for just being born black and nothing else. Also telling him that he must survive for his children and his children’s children. He warns him, telling him that this country will set him up for failure and that they will try to control where he could go, what he could do, and how he could do it. He continues to articulate that he must stay true to himself because no matter how much he tries to resemble white people they will never accept him. He later states how corrupt the white mind is, for example, he says, “They are, in effect, still trapped in a history which they do not understand; and until they understand it, they cannot be released from it. They have had to believe for so many years, and for innumerable reasons, that black men are inferior to white men. Many of them, indeed, know better, as you will discover, people find it very difficult to act on what they
Baldwin determines that violence and racial separatism are not acceptable solutions for achieving “power”. Baldwin believes that black people will only be able to achieve lasting influence in America if they love and accept white people. In contrast, writing 52 years after Baldwin, Coats tells his own son to “struggle” but not
James Baldwin in “Notes of a Native Son” writes about the death of his father and his struggle in America during segregation. He also reveals that he didn’t have a very good relationship with his ill father. Throughout the essay there is a repetition of bitterness. Also, Baldwin’s experiences reveal his purpose for writing the essay. One passage that is especially revealing is on page 222 which says, “When he died I had been away from home for a little over a year. In that year I had had time to become aware of the meaning of all my father’s bitter warnings, had discovered the secret of his proudly pursed lips and rigid carriage: I had discovered the weight of white people in the world. I saw that this had been for my ancestors and now would be for me an awful thing to live with and that the bitterness which had helped to kill my father could also kill me.” This passage reveals how Baldwin’s relationship with his father, and his father’s warnings help demonstrate how hatred can cause negative effects on African Americans.
“Notes of a Native Son” is a narrative of Baldwin’s life. It is mainly about his relationship with his father and how after his father passed away he realized how his anger and rage, which was depicted as a disease, was
Baldwin, however, describes his father as being a very black-like “African tribal chieftain” (64) who was proud of his heritage despite the chains it locked upon him. He is shown to be one with good intentions, but one who never achieved the positive outcome intended. His ultimate downfall was his paranoia such that “the disease of his mind allowed the disease of his body to destroy him” (66). Baldwin relates the story of a white teacher with good intentions and his father’s objection to her involvement in their lives because of his lack of trust for any white woman. His father’s paranoia even extended to Baldwin’s white high school friends. These friends, although they could be kind, “would do anything to keep a Negro down” (68), and they believed that the “best thing to do was to have as little to do with them as possible” (68). Thus, Baldwin leaves the reader with the image of his father as an unreasonable man who struggled to blockade white America from his life and the lives of his children to the greatest extent of his power. Baldwin then turns his story to focus on his own experience in the world his father loathed and on his realization that he was very much like his father.
In Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin, Baldwin uses various stylistic devices and rhetorical strategies such as personification, and metaphors. Baldwin first uses personification in order to describe his father's death. In this, Baldwin state's “Death, however, sat as purposefully at my father's bedside as life stirred within my mother's womb.” Baldwin uses this personification of death in order to show how death consumed his father, becoming a stronger person than his father was during his demise. Furthermore, this can be seen as irony, as while Baldwin's father lay dying, new life was coming about, relating to a larger theme of death leading into new life. Further personification can be seen when Baldwin states that “There is not a Negro alive who does not have rage in his blood.” Through the personification of rage, it can be seen that like death, rage can overpower one’s mentality, creating a strength equal to, or more than that of a human. Baldwin also uses the metaphor of hatred being a chronic disease as it describes how deadly hatred can be, to the point of one's life being filled and ended with rage inside their body. Together, these stylistic devices and rhetorical strategies work together to affect the overall tone and meaning of the work as they display how despair and hatred must be fought in one's heart, for one to achieve acceptance, and equal power. Overall, these stylistic choices affect the audience’s reactions as they are able to identify the tone of
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
James Baldwin writes “From all available evidence no black man had ever set foot in this tiny Swiss village.” He also goes on to talk about how he was told that not too many people of his complexion had been seen in Switzerland. In comparison George Orwell wrote “I was hated by large numbers of people.” Orwell explains that as a European in Lower Burma the locals did not like him nor had they accepted that England had control over the town. In both stories the writers have inserted themselves into a culture where they are the minority. Each reacts by trying to fit in, while the conflict within and around them, makes them feel uncomfortable doing so. While Baldwin truly believes he is a minority and that this was simply history, Orwell’s conflict is much different,
Narrative is a form of writing used by writers to convey their experiences to an audience. James Baldwin is a renowned author for bringing his experience to literature. He grew up Harlem in the 1940’s and 1950’s, a crucial point in history for America due to the escalading conflict between people of different races marked by the race riots of Harlem and Detroit. This environment that Baldwin grew up in inspires and influences him to write the narrative “Notes of a Native Son,” which is based on his experience with racism and the Jim-Crow Laws. The narrative is about his father and his influence on Baldwin’s life, which he analyzes and compares to his own experiences. When Baldwin comes into