Analysis Of James Baldwin 's ' The Village ' Essay

Analysis Of James Baldwin 's ' The Village ' Essay

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Despite discrimination, segregation, and social exile, James Baldwin was able to prevail as an African American writer during a time of prejudice and hate. James Baldwin was a very famous American author who was born in New York City on August 2, 1924 and later died in Paris on December 1st, 1987 . Although known as an important author within the USA, Baldwin spent the majority of his time in other countries including Paris, Switzerland, and Istanbul . Even though he lived abroad, the main topic of his writing often centered on the experience of being black in 20th century America. With application of his experiences throughout the world, Baldwin was able to expand on his statements regarding the treatment of African people. “Stranger in the Village” was written in 1955 during a time in which racism and segregation was a prominent problem not only in America but also all over the world. By contrasting the European ignorance of the African Race with the willingly spiteful American mindsets within this essay, Baldwin extrapolated much about the relationship between the White and Black populations. In all, James Baldwin effectively criticizes negative views toward the African people through the stylistic structure of his essay focusing on the specific and then later transitioning into a more broad scope of the issue.
In “Stranger in the Village”, James Baldwin describes a small town in Switzerland that he visits, and uses that to expand on the attitudes towards black people in both Europe and the USA. The essay starts off with Baldwin explaining how people within the small Swiss village treat him. The total of 600 people populating the isolated town are able to come and go as they please but most only have knowledge regarding th...


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...erland, Baldwin is able to present a very realistic and down-to-earth representation of racism and inequality at that time. Then, by expanding his point of view to encompass the situation within the entirety of the US and Europe, Baldwin effectively presented the same information in a way that is more relatable to the mass population. These two components, when placed together, created a very easy to follow idea structure which consequently allowed Baldwin to be very effective. This all allowed Baldwin to criticize the treatment of African People and call for change within a racist world. As Baldwin suggests, “No road whatever will lead Americans back to the simplicity of this European village where white men still have the luxury of looking on me as a stranger” -simply stating that the history will never change and so the attitudes towards the African people must.

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