Notes of A Native Son VS. Letter from a Birmingham Jail

Topics: Racism, Racial segregation, African American Pages: 2 (1362 words) Published: October 31, 2014
Baldwin and King apply first-person narratives, allowing the audience to experience an immediate encounter toward the authors situation at the time. Baldwin starts the essay with my father died. This short but poignant sentence not only sets the tone for the whole story, but also engages the audience to share his despair, hatred and relief. Similarly, Kings holograph sounds professional and convincing because his first-person defense clearly reasons why his nonviolent protest is necessary through the constant repetition of I hope and I must. King, as the leader of the civil rights movement, uses the repetition of the first-person defense to strengthen his argumentation. Yet King, unlike Baldwin, engages the audience by directly addressing them in the second-person narrative, I hopeyou, and appeals together with the audience, we must, we will to shows his commitment and care for the people. Also, Baldwin and King focus on the issue of race segregation and unjust treatment that African-Americans undergo. Baldwin is inspired by his fathers death, which brings him some understanding about his fathers life and reasons for his fathers paranoia. This understanding helps him know the truth that African-Americans are receiving unjust treatment, which becomes the theme of the essay. Eventually his purpose is to come up with ways to face this unfair reality, through acceptance or by reaching equal power. Focusing on the same theme of segregation, King responds to the issue of injustice among blacks and whites by convincing the audience, who are the unwise and untimely critics, that only through nonviolent direct protest, could the conference be informed of the seriousness of the issue. Focusing on the similar theme of race relations, Baldwin and King apply similar literary techniques. They both use antithesis to show the injustice existing in the world they belong to. In Notes of a Native Son, Baldwin contrasts the death of his father and the life stirred within his...
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