choose one of the following

Learning Goal: I’m working on a literature writing question and need a reference to help me learn.

Choose one of the following essays by James Baldwin to write about. These papers should be double spaced and no more than two pages. You must include in-text citations and at least three quotes from the novel. Your MLA work cited page should go on the third page.

“Notes of a Native Son” (Page 75)

Analyze the following quotation from the essay: “It began to seem that one would have to hold in the mind forever two ideas which seemed to be in opposition. The first idea was acceptance, the acceptance, totally without rancor, of life as it is, and men as they are: in the light of this idea, it goes without saying that injustice is a commonplace. But this did not mean that one could be complacent, for the second idea was of equal power: that one must never, in one’s own life, accept these injustices as commonplace but must fight them with all one’s strength. This fight begins, however, in the heart and it now had been laid to my charge to keep my own heart free of hatred and despair.”

How does James Baldwin deal with issues of race in his life, family or society? Analyze how being black in America shaped James Baldwin’s life and his father’s as well.

“Equal in Paris” (Page 112)

Analyze the following quotation from the essay: “This laughter is the laughter of those who consider themselves to be at a safe remove from all the wretched, for whom the pain of the living is not real.” James Baldwin recognizes this laughter from his “native land” and he hoped to discover a place where it could not be heard. Yet he realizes that “this laughter is universal and never can be stilled.”

What insights does James Baldwin gain from his ordeal being jailed in France? How does this experience relate to the larger themes of race in “Notes of a Native Son” and in “Stranger in the Village?”

“Stranger in the Village” (Page 127)

Analyze the following quotation from the essay: “Joyce is right about history being a nightmare—but it may be the nightmare from which no one can awaken. People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them.”

What does James Baldwin learn about white people outside of the US and how they view black people? What is the historical relationship that white people and black people have, according to James Baldwin, on a global, historical level?

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