He had spent his earlier years in Harlem, where the population was mostly black. At other times, he seems oblivious to the differences, or maybe he just does not want to see them.
When he leaves home, he lands a job in a defense factory in New Jersey, where black people were, at that time, in a small minority. She builds a relationship with Baldwin and his family, nurturing his talents and encouraging him to write. His father has trouble accepting this white woman in his home.
Not only are the people with whom he works white, they are southern whites, people who are used to demanding very specific behaviors from black people.
At the time, he felt that his father was completely off-base in his fear of white people. The entire section is 2, words. He used her power to help him get out from under the oppressive nature of his father. In the end, he is able to separate himself from his father and yet still cherish in a place in his heart the fact that he and his father will be forever joined.
Throughout high school, Baldwin makes friends with white students. He is suspicious of her. Baldwin has already admitted that he has a stubborn pride, so he is not one to humble himself easily simply because of the color of his skin. Instead of seeing the positive implications in this, he describes the situation thus: Sometimes Baldwin is very conscious of the differences.
If his father was right about white people, maybe he was right about other things, too. He moves back and forth, throughout most of the essay, at times freely drawing parallels, at other times trying desperately to gain distance.
This theme of death and birth also works itself out on a larger scale, eventually encompassing the entire essay. In laying out the details of his relationship with his father, Baldwin presents many examples of how he is both similar to his father and different from him. At first, he tries to ignore it, but in a fit of rage one night, he becomes so blinded with hate that he believes he could have killed someone.
Baldwin does not ever mention this mental illness on a personal basis; that is to say, he never implies that he ever feels paranoid, but he does describe some of his thoughts that could possibly be interpreted as paranoid.
In doing so, Baldwin is also able to see himself more clearly. It is as if, through their now mutual distrust of white people, Baldwin has discovered a common language. By examining his relationship with his father, Baldwin experiences several revelations, which culminate in a type of symbolic death and spiritual rebirth by the end of the essay.
She could open up the world a little wider for him. Baldwin, at that time, understood the power this teacher had.Notes of a Native Son “Notes of a Native Son” is an essay that takes you deep into the history of James Baldwin.
In the essay there is much to be said about than merely scratching the surface. Baldwin starts the essay by immediately throwing life and death into a strange coincidental twist. Test your knowledge of Native Son with our quizzes and study questions, or go further with essays on the context and background and links to the best resources around the web.
From Notes of a Native Son JAMES BALDWIN In this title essay from his collection (written from France to which he had moved in ), James Baldwin (–87) interweaves the story of his response to his father’s death (in ) with reflections on black-white relations in America, and especially in the Harlem of his youth.
his famous essay, “Notes of a Native Son”, or “Notes” for short, Baldwin shows some of his best work in this style of writing. In “Notes,” Baldwin performs a masterful job of weaving analytical thought into specific events from his life or the public life around him.
Notes of a Native Son  My last night in New Jersey, a white friend from New York took me to the nearest big town, Trenton, to go to the movies and have a few drinks.
As it turned out, he also saved me from, at the very least, a violent whip- ping. Almost every. Throughout this essay, I will be using Baldwin’s “Notes of a Native Son” for examples.
“Notes of a Native Son” is an essay that Baldwin wrote which focuses primarily on his life around the time his father died, which also happens to be the same time his youngest brother was born.Download