Baldwin's Writing Style In Notes To A Native Son

1514 words - 6 pages

Father and Son: Bad to Regrettable

James Baldwin is known to be one of the best essay writers in the twentieth century who wrote on a few topics including race, discrimination, sexuality and most of all his personal experiences. In “Notes of a Native Son”, he uses two main strategies to get his point across. First, he likes to tell a story in a narrative view. Following is normally his analysis of the event. He describes the event and then gives his theory on the matter. By doing this, he grants the reader a chance to decipher the meaning. His interpretation may not be what the reader’s is. He likes to argue and provides the basis for his argument in “Notes of a Native Son”. Throughout the essay he talks about himself and his father, their relationship and how their interactions influence his final feelings toward his father. He also integrates public incidents during those times into the essay. This method presents the reader with an opportunity to understand the race issue at that time.

This essay is about part of his life. In the beginning he starts with his father’s death. It was coincidental that the funeral was on his Baldwin’s nineteenth birthday. Mr. Baldwin, his father, and his wife conceived a child near the end of his life. This child was born a few hours after his death. Here Baldwin presents a binary of life and death, along with other examples, that he executes throughout the essay. In retrospection, he perceives his father’s death as a time of sadness and regrets not having a healthier rapport with him and he mentions that his siblings are happy that their father will never come home again. He tells us about the race riots in Detroit and New Jersey and criticizes afterwards. These happenings show the influence they have on Baldwin as he writes, and are used to prove his points.

Near the start of the essay, he writes mainly about his relationship with his father and his analysis of it. There are stories he incorporates to illustrate the point. In the middle we move to a more self-centered narrative. He tells of his story in New Jersey where he realized he could kill someone. He shares some of his thoughts of why people acted as they did towards him and others. This is an effective way he uses narrating and analyzing to work for the reader’s understanding.

The essay goes into great detail of his relationship with his father. He describes his father as cruel (65), bitter (65), and beautiful (64). He does mention the bad in length. On the flip side, he tells us some of the good as well. Throughout his storytelling, the reader gets a glimpse into his life and the way he feels. His feelings evolve during the extent of the essay.

In the stories he tells, the word hate appears quite frequently. It is sometimes used about his father. “I saw nothing very clearly but I did see this: that my life, my real life, was in danger, and not from anything other people might do but from the hatred I...

Find Another Essay On Baldwin's Writing Style in Notes to a Native Son

Baldwin's Perspective in Notes of a Native Son

1813 words - 7 pages “Notes of a Native Son,” which was first published in Harper’s Magazine in 1955 and was also first known as “Me and My House.” In “Notes of a Native Son,” Baldwin exercises his many talents as an essayist in how he manages to weave narratives and arguments throughout the essay. He is also able to use many of his experiences to prove his points. Baldwin effectively interlaces his narratives, arguments, and experiences so as to reach his central idea

Rumors in Baldwin's Notes of a Native Son

1177 words - 5 pages printed facts ever matched up until years later. This rioting resulted from a rumor that flowed through city streets. The rumor and the riot that it caused destroyed an entire city and many human lives. James Baldwin emphasizes the historical significance of rumors and uses this theme in his essay, “Notes of a Native Son,” to highlight the struggle toward equality. On June 21, the city of Detroit exploded as racial tensions finally reached

James Baldwin's Narration and Analysis in Notes of a Native Son

1353 words - 5 pages Experiences There is a very thin line between love and hate in James Baldwin’s essay “Notes of a Native Son.” Throughout this essay James Baldwin continually makes references to life and death, blacks and whites, and love and hate. He uses his small experiences to explain a much larger, more complicated picture of life. From the first paragraph of the essay to the last paragraph, Baldwin continually makes connections on his

Influences of Racism in James Baldwin's Notes of a Native Son

920 words - 4 pages begins. Then our hatred grows as we are influenced by the things we see on TV and the things being said about others in the music that we listen to. As we read the papers we read about politicians bad mouthing other races. How about where we live, go to school or even work? Yes, another set of influences. In Notes of a Native Son we see all these things come into play as we read about how James Baldwin tries to understand racism. In the

Hatred in Notes of a Native Son

1254 words - 5 pages to illustrate the destructive nature of the black society’s hatred for white society in “Notes of a Native Son”. The hatred many African Americans possessed during the 1950s caused multiple riots. Baldwin touches on this in “Notes of a Native Son”, by mentioning the Harlem riots that broke out during the time of his father’s death. Baldwin states that “it would have been better to have left the plate glass as it had been and the goods lying

Notes of a Native Son

1582 words - 6 pages . "Not only am I fond of it, I love it" (265). In an earlier conversation with Chicago journalist Studs Terkel, Baldwin explained why his flight to foreign soil was important. "I began to see (America) for the first time. If I hadn't gone away, I would never have been able to see it; and if I was unable to see it, I would never have been able to forgive it" (15). The America that Baldwin saw is documented in Notes of a Native Son, a

Comparison of James Baldwin's essay "Notes of a Native Son" and John Wideman's collection of Homewood stories "Our Time."

959 words - 4 pages In James Baldwin's essay "Notes of a Native Son", Baldwin's father contracted a disease and passed away. Similarly in John Wideman's collection of Homewood stories "Our Time." Wideman's brother Robby had a friend die of a terminal disease. The death of this close relation led both James Baldwin and Roby Wideman into a spiral of remorse and frustration. "The moment I saw him I knew why I had put off the visit so long....I hated him....and

Lessons Learned from Notes to a Native Son

1747 words - 7 pages Realizing What Society Really Is Born in 1924, James Baldwin grew up in Harlem during harsh racism and the infamous Jim Crow laws. In addition to being surrounded by hate crimes and riots, Baldwin had a rough relationship with his father, who died when Baldwin was only nineteen. Twelve years after his father?s death, Baldwin wrote an essay, entitled ?Notes of a Native Son,? which described the events that took place around the

Racial Hatred in Notes of a Native Son

1630 words - 7 pages whole, Baldwin provides readers with an invaluable insight to the plight of people of color in the United States. In “Notes,” Baldwin uses his unique writing style to both inform and instruct readers about the dangers of allowing the divisions in our society based on race to continue unresolved. Works Cited Baldwin, James. “Notes of a Native Son.” 1955. James Baldwin: Collected Essays. Ed. Toni Morrison. New York: Library of America, 1998. 63-84.

White Treatment of Blacks in Notes of a Native Son

1388 words - 6 pages see how to cure his bitter madness. In ?Notes,? the narrative of his father?s life, Baldwin realizes, may eventually become the continuation of his own life, unless he learns from what has happened to his father. This essay tells the story of the latter half of his father?s life, and the first half of his own. These two half-lives can be spliced together to represent an African American?s life anywhere during this time period. Works Cited Baldwin, James. ?Notes of a Native Son.? 1955. James Baldwin: Collected Essays. Ed. Toni Morrison. New York: Library of America, 1998. 63-84.

Analyzing Notes of a Native Son

1474 words - 6 pages -determination and courage. In his essay entitled, “Notes of a Native Son”, Baldwin does an excellent job making use of binaries and repetition of words and phrases as well as switching back and forth from narrative to analysis. He also cleverly connects his progressively raising maturity and understanding of the world to the unique style in which Baldwin writes throughout his work. We will now dissect this essay and see how Baldwin uses special writing

Similar Essays

Baldwin's Stepfather In Notes To A Native Son

1554 words - 6 pages The Effects on a Narrative Son From His Stepfather In order to effectively analyze something, it is necessary to thoroughly examine and discuss the subject. James Baldwin does this in his essay “Notes of a Native Son” by describing his experiences growing up with his stepfather while weaving in discussion. Baldwin’s comments during these breaks in his stories draw conclusions and generalizations about himself, his relationship with his

Writing Style Of Notes To A Native Son

1900 words - 8 pages his famous essay, “Notes of a Native Son”, or “Notes” for short, Baldwin shows some of his best work in this style of writing. In “Notes,” Baldwin performs a masterful job of weaving analytical thought into specific events from his life or the public life around him. This style allows the reader to better understand the thoughts of a very intelligent, educated, and opinionated man who lived during a very difficult time in American history

James Baldwin's Notes Of A Native Son

1057 words - 4 pages James Baldwin's "Notes of a Native Son" demonstrates his complex and unique relationship with his father. Baldwin's relationship with his father is very similar to most father-son relationships but the effect of racial discrimination on the lives of both, (the father and the son) makes it distinctive. At the outset, Baldwin accepts the fact that his father was only trying to look out for him, but deep down, he cannot help but feel that his

Baldwin's Insights Of History In Notes Of A Native Son

1874 words - 7 pages throughout his life story and his analysis of events. Baldwin’s creative writing skills show through his style of writing and makes the reader feel as though he is being directly spoken to. He gives the audience the opportunity to feel the emotions that he felt during these events. It is this ability that made James Baldwin the celebrated talent that he became. Works Cited Baldwin, James. “Notes of a Native Son.” 1955. James Baldwin: Collected Essays. Ed. Toni Morrison. New York: Library of America, 1998. 63-84.