Notes of a Native Son

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 467
  • Published : October 4, 2011
Open Document
Text Preview
James Baldwin, an american writer for his novels on racial and perosnal identity

focus on civil rights struggles in the united states during the civil rights

movement. Notes of a native son, written in the 1940's to the eraly 1950's allows

the readers to understand baldwins first hand experiences during this movement,

where he faces the consequences of racial descrimination. throughout the novel,

baldwin explores the most obvious actions of sexual and racial descriminations

in western societys. during the 20th century, there were many inevitable tensions

between african americans and whites. the psychological effects of racism is a

stressful struggle for non-whites. it has the potential to effect the well being of an

individual. for example, while in new jersey at the american diner, baldwin was

turned away from service because of his color. he felt extreme exclusion and

resentment from the white society. walking back to the streets gave baldwin an

overwhelmed feeling as the whites walked next to him. after being turned away

for a second time, he then turns his aggression out by throwing a mug and

shattering a mirror. he is then beaten severely. another example of

psychologicall effects of racism is how baldwins father was unable to

communicate with his family and people in the nieghborhood. this is due to built

up anger and frustration inside him from growing up in such a racist atmosphere.

baldwin uses the harlem riot of 1943 and the african american community

to express the psychological effects of racism. Due to the negroes being sent

back to the training camps in the south, there began to be a mirco explosion in

harlem. the community took out their frustration by looting and rioting in the

streets and caused an increase in the crime wave.

baldwins father was a perfect example to express the extreme and intense measures of the racial discrimination towards African Americans. Back in the south, his father faced many of the difficult consiquences that came with being a different race. he uses his father as an example bc he had first hand experiences from living in the south. because of the harsh treatment in the south, baldwins father had a hard time relating to people in the north. the segregation of jobs, schools and public bathrooms was one of the reasons for discomfort among the african americans in that time.growing up in the south effected both baldwins father's psycological state of mind and the will to move forward when living in the north.some of the problems were the lack of jobs offered and limited positions in high paying businesses. baldwins father and other african americans had to rely on jobs that would maybe take on the different race. baldwins father suffered from psychological problems being that he lived so long in a segregated community. He presented himself as a proud african american, but inside he was filled with insecurties and humiliation. there were several communication barriers that faced baldwins father. he was a very bitter personand had the inability to establish contact with other people but he was only trying to protect his children just like any other father would during that time. He also suffered from paranoia. for example, he constantly thought his family was trying to poison his food. at the same time he thought everyone else was against him. he was always questioning whether or not he would ever be accepted into the white society. During the end of baldwins fathers life, he was laid off from his job. he also came to realize that "white people would do anything to keep a Negro down". in addition, his psyhological problems contributed very negatively to his tuberculosis. He didnt have the psychological strength to overcome the disease. therefore makeing his death more sufferable and sudden. Because of all the harsh and unfair treatment he constantly faced, he did...
tracking img