The Life Of James Baldwin 's Struggle For Sexual Performance

924 WordsAug 28, 20144 Pages
James Baldwin survived as not an unusual figure; he existed as a black man in the mid-twentieth century disgruntled with the way America treated him. As much as he protested through his literary works and often times through recorded interviews, Baldwin frequently made the clear statement he is not the victim. In fact, he would go as far to say white people are the victims, although what they were victims of remained not as straight forward. The two main topics Baldwin favored writing on were race and sex. In the short story, Going to Meet the Man, the main character, Jesse, is dissatisfied with his sexual performance, or lack thereof, and is intrigued by the sexuality of black people. Did James Baldwin justify himself as the superior being and the white person as the victim in his own assumption which argued white people long to have the sexual capabilities of black people? Through his short story, Baldwin infers white people are inferior sexual performers; they are intrigued by the sexual capabilities of black people, and comforts himself by exposing an example of white lack of superiority. In the opening of Going to Meet the Man, Baldwin constructs his presentation displaying the limited sexual abilities of the white man. The fictional character Jesse, portraying white males in general, cries, “’it’s not my fault!’ He tried again; he wretchedly failed again. Then he just lay there, silent, angry, helpless” (Baldwin 229). Baldwin strategically places these select words at

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