In this text, The New Lost Generation, James Baldwin describes living in the post-war generation. During these times, the streets were filled with hatred, pain, and anger. Baldwin starts of his text by narrating the friendship between him and his best friend. A man, who was once sought to be an achiever of glorious advancements, later went down a path full of emptiness and heartbreaks leading to the taking of his own life. Many different fears began to quarrel inside Baldwin as time went on. He began to fear that a great amount of animosity and anger would boil over, leading Baldwin down a path with no return. The fear of ending up another body in the Hudson River also began to fright him. However, most of all: the fear of humanity losing control and common morals and beliefs. “If all visions of human nature are to be distrusted, and all hopes, what about love?” (39). Feeling abandoned by many people around him, be begins the journey of searching for who he really is as an individual. In a time of “terrifying personal anarchy” Baldwin must overlook his different experiences that made him who he is today. Baldwin states, “we have been raised to believe in formulas” (39). In a world structured in this manner, it is difficult to strive. It is up to you to determine your future. Ultimately, this lead to Baldwin’s relocation in France; this was an escape from America’s madness. He mentions how it is easy for American expatriates to live extraordinarily in their new adopted country. In fact many citizens are not even able to tell the vast differences between whom is foreign or not.
As Baldwin looks back on his journey of life, he elaborates on the idea of how public approval is much harder to achieve in America than in a foreign place. It is ironic because being American you would think that it would be harder to accomplish this in France because he is foreign, however, it is quite the opposite due to the raging racism and anger overflowing in New York along...
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