The Discovery of Being an American

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  • Topic: Americas, Lists of American writers, Henry James
  • Pages : 3 (941 words )
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  • Published : December 20, 2012
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“The Origin of Truth”-
A Critique by Isaiah Hines on James Baldwin- “The Discovery of what it means to be an American”(1959)

A title is an intriguing and prominent part of any composition, which can captivate the reader into a trance on the subject and words given in the title. The title “The Discovery of what it means to be an American” was published in the suburban areas of the starting of the Civil Right in 1959 by James Baldwin, which allures the readers understanding and historical observance as well. For instance, the words as “Discovery” and “American” in the title shows the connection of traveling to understand the roots of America and the concept of what it truly means to be an American as an individual. These words of the title and the whole title itself, fits into the modern life of most individual’s and how Baldwin presents his dilemma as a whole. Therefore, the title is the stronghold to keep the reader sojourning throughout the whole essay of one’s origin.

A claim is supposed to grasp the description of the main idea towards the audience/ (reader). The claim should be concise and capable of securely affecting the power of the main idea through supporting evidence to carry the readers mind into a continuous journey of attention. Baldwin’s claim says “It is a complex fate to be an American” (31). Now, this quote and central thesis is promoted by the departure of Henry James who sojourned along the land of Europe to find his identity. Therefore, James Baldwin seems to imitate the same centered routine for self-identification of what it honestly means to be an American while in Europe. Also, Baldwin’s claim is reasonable, but he seems to be stuck on a bias note, only because he is emulating the context of Henry James (who was an American novelist that explored the context of Europe). As well, Baldwin is moderate on the dogmatic content of the word “complex”. He should have touched a tad bit more on why it’s a complex fate to be an American,...
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