"Go Tell It On The Mountain", By James Baldwin.

695 words - 3 pages

Go Tell It On The Mountain, by James Baldwin, is enriched with Biblical references that bring to mind the spirit of the black Church and a realism that brings you back to Harlem in the 1930s. Throughout the book, the Grimes family turns to the Church in times of despair. These indications of God in the book show us the life of a black person in the 1930s.In Bruce Bawer's essay entitled "Race and Art: James Baldwin," found in the anthology Novels For Students, my thesis is verified. "Like the Trinitarian God, the book is divided into three parts..." (Bawer 80). God has three "parts": the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit."John... is the stepson of Gabriel, a preacher who believes 'that all white people [are] wicked, and that God [is] going to bring them low,' and who feels that God has promised him a son to carry on his holy work" (Bawer 81). Bawer goes on to say that the second part of the book is filled with flashbacks. "The novel, whose style has something of the stateliness of the King James Bible and the music of black vernacular, splendidly evokes Harlem's sights and sounds, its frustrations and hypocrisies" (Bawer 81).Baldwin hammers us relentlessly with biblical verses- and with good reason, for his purpose is to impress upon us the ubiquity of religion in John's family and his sense of being bound inextricably to God- but it doesn't take long before we're weary of it all and the verses seem like gimmickry. (81)In other words, Baldwin gives us so many lines from the bible to show us how important religion is in John [Grimes'] family.In Maria K. Mootry essay called "A Review of Go Tell It On The Mountain," which is in the anthology Novels For Students, her writing proved my statement. (Paraphrase) In this passage, she talks about the irony that goes along with the religious mentions in the novel. "We are told in an opening church scene that John Grimes has no real belief, but it is the faith of his family and fellow church members that make...

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