Going to meet the man short story analysis

James Baldwin - Going to Meet the Man by Jon Klyne on Prezi

going to meet the man short story analysis

Going to meet the man is a great piece of writing which is descriptive with appropriate use of mephistolessiveur.info writer of the story; James Baldwin. Summary Of The Short Story ' Going On Meet The Man ' By James Baldwin. Words | 5 Pages. AFAS In the short story Going to Meet. What is the literary element or device in James Baldwin's short story, "Going to Meet the Man"? The literary element or device used in James Baldwin's short.

He did not know why he said this. His voice, in the darkness of the car, sounded small and accusing. But he was only concerned about this morning. Upon waking the next day, Jesse is confronted by a group of people in his front yard dressed as if they were about to head to Sunday service. Are we going on a picnic?

It is evident from the story and the historical period in which the story takes place that Jesse had grown up in an extremely racist society. It can be assumed that he experienced elements of racism and prejudice on a daily basis from the attitude that his father expresses toward the black race as a whole throughout the story.

Startlingly, however, Jesse is presented in the light of childish innocence prior to the event at the Harkness. Jesse was just another boy, understanding the basic expectation that society held him to as a member of the white race, but eschewing this expectation for childish games and camaraderie with anyone regardless of race, religion, or any other divisive factor.

Jesse just wanted to play and enjoy life.

  • Going to Meet the Man (short story)

His carefree world was about to change forever. The car ride seemed to stretch on and on. The car finally stopped. Jesse stepped out of the vehicle to see a mob standing before a spectacle that had them cheering and had raised the level of excitement to an almost tangible level. The tingle in the air was almost too much for Jesse to bear.

Going to Meet the Man Teaser

The first aspect that Jesse noticed about the scene unfolding in front of him was the gleaming chain. Baldwin now uses extremely strong language to describe both the scene unfolding before young Jesse and the personal awareness of a boy about to be forever changed by one animalistic act against another human being by a bigoted mob. The most intriguing aspect of this scene is not the inhuman act carried out against the captured man. While the crime committed against the man is certainly the most disturbing aspect of this scene, the act itself is not the point.

Jesse witnesses first hand the unjust torture and murder of a man based solely on race and perception. The grotesque scene culminates in a gruesome mutilation followed by the captured man being beaten to death by the unruly mob. While the murder is taking place, a strange excitement arises in Jesse. Every racist sentiment that he had been taught throughout his life became tangible.

Not only was this excitement present deep within Jesse, but it was also evident in the rest of the crowd. Her eyes were very bright, her mouth was open: He watched the hanging, gleaming body, the most beautiful and terrible object he had ever seen till then. In a matter of mere minutes, Jesse had gone from an innocent young boy to bigoted white boy. His perceptions regarding the differences between the races that he had developed over the course of his young life came rushing to the forefront of his mind and he was forever changed.

Bygone Innocence: A Reflection on “Going to Meet the Man” | Edumacation

Gone was the young boy who rolled in the dirt with Otis, for Otis was no longer the same. He was now a colored boy. This brought Jesse to a point in his life where he was susceptible to a life-altering experience which occurred while he was in attendance of this abhorrent event.

Simply, it was a traumatic experience that finally confirmed all of the racist attitudes and beliefs that the boy had been exposed to throughout his life. It was empirical evidence that reinforced the family and societal values in which Jesse had been indoctrinated. Jesse was unsure of how exactly to react to the situation at hand; therefore, he looked to his family in order to learn what was expected of him. First, his father impressed the young boy while driving to the Harkness.

Jesse first notes that his father was changed. He somehow was different and more alive than he had ever been before.

Going to Meet the Man

This established the emotional tone for the encounter that Jesse was preparing to experience. This also lends to the way in which Jesse processes this experience.

going to meet the man short story analysis

This is the heart of the question that Baldwin is proposing. It also seemed like they had no value as most of them were treated like an object. Most of the black woman were sexually assaulted.

Moreover the author has also shown the affection of the narrator towards his father as a child.

going to meet the man short story analysis

The Author has represented his stance on the culture of the white community as well. Males used to dominate in their family and children and wife were often inspired by their acts and followed them as their role models. Since the Author himself was an Afro- American his work seems to be justified as he himself experienced racism to a certain extent. The element of racism can be clearly seen in most of his writings. According to him the Negros used to express their hardships and struggles through jazz music which later on became a vital part of their culture.

The author has used expression when it is most needed, which makes the story more interesting. The evidence of this can be find when he tries to amuse his wife through narration of his story however, she seems to be least interested.