Writing Style Of Notes To A Native Son

1900 words - 8 pages

Thoughts of a Man

Life is a great tapestry of events and emotions that one feels and/or experiences on a daily basis. No day plays out the same way and no two people experience the same things. Certainly one can say that life is jumpy, if not completely unpredictable. In order to explain life or the things that go on in life, one must be able to communicate on not only a narrative level, but also an analytical level. Any great writer must possess the skill to fully and completely portray a feeling or idea. James Baldwin, an African-American writer born in Harlem in 1924, fully possessed this special ability. Baldwin is considered to be one of the best essayists of the twentieth century and wrote during a time of great racial injustice. One of his greatest assets was his uncanny ability to intertwine narrative and analysis throughout the course of his essays. In 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.

At first glance, “Notes” may seem to be a simple story about Baldwin’s father and the strained relationships that Baldwin and his siblings had with their father. But at a closer look, the essay serves a deeper purpose than initially expected, which can be seen in an analysis of Baldwin’s writing style. Baldwin uses a writing style that moves from story to analysis in order to paint a very specific picture for his reader. The transitions are often subtle, many times occurring mid paragraph, but they are made subtle because of the clear free flowing thought that brings the reader from narrative to analysis and back again. Baldwin divided “Notes” into three sections, which all chronicled specific parts of his life. In section III Baldwin provides the reader with a perfect example of his ability to weave in analysis with common narrative. Section III brings the reader to a scene at the funeral of Baldwin’s father in which the minister is speaking about what a good man Baldwin’s father was. From this point Baldwin changes from a narrative about his father’s funeral to the thoughts and feelings of every man, saying that every man, some day, wishes to be eulogized and then continuing on about how that is all that a man wishes of the Lord. This section continues to say that only the Lord knows the true intentions and the true soul of a man (78). This part of section III portrays very clearly what kind of a writer James Baldwin really is. This part takes the reader from a fairly commonplace scene, such as a funeral, and proceeds to quickly, yet subtly, place the reader in an analysis of the duty and power of the...

Find Another Essay On Writing Style of Notes to a Native Son

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

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

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

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.

White Treatment of Blacks in Notes of a Native Son

1388 words - 6 pages The White Beginning To Black Paranoia Some people regard James Baldwin as one of the best essayists of all time because of his ability to enmesh argument within narrative. Baldwin aims to tell a story, yet every so often throughout ?Notes of a Native Son,? he takes a moment to analyze what has happened. As the essay ebbs and flows from narrative into argument, the reader hardly knows the tide has changed. During this change

Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin

1379 words - 6 pages Me and my Native Son “Notes of a Native Son” by James Baldwin was published in the November 1955 issue of Harper’s magazine under the title “Me and My House,” but these two versions are not exactly the same. “Notes” is a dually focused essay, focusing on Baldwin’s relationship with his father, and focusing on Baldwin’s relationship with white America as well. This essay, in its pure form would appeal to anti-segregationists

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.

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

Notes of a Native Son: Stubbornness Vs. Persistence

1145 words - 5 pages In James Baldwin's essay "Notes of a Native Son" he tries to show how his father has affected his life. Baldwin does not think that his father will or has any effect on his life. It is not until after his father dies that Baldwin realizes what his father had continually told him is actually be true. Baldwin's relationship with his father is very similar to most child parent relationship. Children often think that their parents know nothing

James Bladwin and Notes of A Native Son

693 words - 3 pages whites and blacks, so that one-day in blacks and whites could live in harmony.James Baldwin grew up as one of many sons from a poor African American family and was pressed to become a preacher like his father. Throughout his childhood, like most blacks, he suffered much prejudice because of his skin color. However, this only made him stronger. On the day of his father's funeral, he witnessed the great Harlem race riot. This act of violence and racial

Similar Essays

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

Notes Of A Native Son Essay

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

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

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