Stranger In The Village James Baldwin

1310 Words6 Pages
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
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