Baldwin's Writing Style in Notes to a Native Son Essay

Baldwin's Writing Style in Notes to a Native Son Essay

Length: 1491 words (4.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Father and Son: Bad to Regrettable

James Baldwin is known to be one of the best essay writers in the twentieth century who wrote on a few topics including race, discrimination, sexuality and most of all his personal experiences. In “Notes of a Native Son”, he uses two main strategies to get his point across. First, he likes to tell a story in a narrative view. Following is normally his analysis of the event. He describes the event and then gives his theory on the matter. By doing this, he grants the reader a chance to decipher the meaning. His interpretation may not be what the reader’s is. He likes to argue and provides the basis for his argument in “Notes of a Native Son”. Throughout the essay he talks about himself and his father, their relationship and how their interactions influence his final feelings toward his father. He also integrates public incidents during those times into the essay. This method presents the reader with an opportunity to understand the race issue at that time.

This essay is about part of his life. In the beginning he starts with his father’s death. It was coincidental that the funeral was on his Baldwin’s nineteenth birthday. Mr. Baldwin, his father, and his wife conceived a child near the end of his life. This child was born a few hours after his death. Here Baldwin presents a binary of life and death, along with other examples, that he executes throughout the essay. In retrospection, he perceives his father’s death as a time of sadness and regrets not having a healthier rapport with him and he mentions that his siblings are happy that their father will never come home again. He tells us about the race riots in Detroit and New Jersey and criticizes afterwards. These happenings show the influen...


... middle of paper ...


...art. Baldwin does this using his own personal experiences and tying them into the greater picture of society. All the stories he has expressed in “Notes of a Native Son” can be paralleled with what was going on during that period. He even explained the riots in that sense for the reader.

In the first paragraph he states that they drove his father to the cemetery over smashed plate glass (63). This was a result of the hatred and despair felt by the rioters. This visual is a representation of the hatred that had helped to kill his father. The abhorrence that played a role in the death of his father, he feared would do the same to him. The end of the essay shows Baldwin letting go of this hatred and despair.

Works Cited

Baldwin, James. “Notes of a Native Son.” 1995. James Baldwin: Collected Essays.

Ed. Toni Morrison. New York: Library of America, 1998. 63-84.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Baldwin's Writing Style in Notes of a Native Son Essay

- James Baldwin was born in Harlem in a time where his African American decent was enough to put more challenges in front of him than the average (white) American boy faced. His father was a part of the first generation of free black men. He was a bitter, overbearing, paranoid preacher who refused change and hated the white man. Despite of his father, his color, and his lack of education, James Baldwin grew up to be a respected author of essays, plays, and novels. While claiming that he was one of the best writers of the era could be argued either way, it is hard to argue the fact that he was indeed one of the most well-known authors of the time....   [tags: James Baldwin]

Powerful Essays
1676 words (4.8 pages)

Baldwin's Writing Style in Notes to a Native Son Essay

- Father and Son: Bad to Regrettable James Baldwin is known to be one of the best essay writers in the twentieth century who wrote on a few topics including race, discrimination, sexuality and most of all his personal experiences. In “Notes of a Native Son”, he uses two main strategies to get his point across. First, he likes to tell a story in a narrative view. Following is normally his analysis of the event. He describes the event and then gives his theory on the matter. By doing this, he grants the reader a chance to decipher the meaning....   [tags: James Baldwin]

Powerful Essays
1491 words (4.3 pages)

The Gift And Notes Of A Native Son Essay

- Poetry Essay The Gift and Notes of a Native Son are written by different authors who not only writes in different styles, but also differ in their background. The author of The Gift Li-Young Lee was born in Djakarta, Indonesia in 1957 to Chinese political exiles with a grandfather who is the first president of the Republic of China. Due to Anti-Chinese Sentiment in Indonesia, Lee was forced to flee to the United States in 1964. Lee then attended the University of Pittsburgh where he gained the inspiration to write poems, many depicting parts of his life....   [tags: Family, Writing, Experience, American films]

Powerful Essays
1163 words (3.3 pages)

Writing of James Baldwin Essay

- The Writing Wisdom of James Baldwin James Baldwin is not known by much of America’s youth today, and his writings are not taught in many schools. His style of writing, however, is ultimately unique. Baldwin’s African-American viewpoint is very rare, creating a fresh way to look upon American culture and ethnicity. There also may be no other author like Baldwin that blends narrative and analysis seamlessly, while still keeping the reader interested in the story at hand. In “Notes of a Native Son,” Baldwin uses this weaving of narration and analysis to show his inability to see how his father’s personality had impacted and molded his own personality....   [tags: Notes of a Native Son]

Powerful Essays
2364 words (6.8 pages)

Essay on Native Son - The Metamorphosis of Bigger Thomas

-   In the turn of the century, the time of Bigger Thomas, the roles of black men and women in America were heavily restricted compared to the white population. Black people were also still treated unequally and dealt with as ignorant fools. Richard Wright's novel, Native Son, embraces this knowledge and follows the reaction of one angry man as he manages the delights of his exploits and the consequences of his deeds. Challenging pressures and stereotypes, Bigger believes he understands the world and that he is completely in control, unperturbed by anything or anyone....   [tags: Native Son Essays]

Powerful Essays
2366 words (6.8 pages)

Notes Of A Native Son By James Baldwin Essay

- Notes of a Native Son is a nonfiction essay written by James Baldwin. The essay is about how Baldwin felt about his father and how he felt after his father had passed. Baldwin also realizes and comes to terms with many things during that time period. Racism is also one of Baldwin’s principal themes and uses it in many of his essays. Rebecca Skloot similarly wrote about a woman from near that time period. Skloot wrote an excerpt titled “The Miracle Woman”, the woman’s name in this piece was Henrietta Lacks whose cells would go on to live much longer than she did....   [tags: African American, Rebecca Skloot]

Powerful Essays
1011 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on Reviews of Notes of a Native Son

- Reviews of Notes of a Native Son Notes of a Native Son, a widely acclaimed and celebrated book by James Baldwin was subjected to many reviews upon its first publication. There were many opposing views between reviewers but almost all came to the conclusion that Baldwin’s use of words was extremely eloquent and intelligent. Specifically an article titled “Rage unto Order” by Dachine Rainer was very adamant about Baldwin’s genius as a writer but hardly did anything to explain or exemplify that fact....   [tags: James Baldwin]

Powerful Essays
1236 words (3.5 pages)

Analyzing Notes of a Native Son Essay

- Analyzing “Notes of a Native Son” James Baldwin is a highly renowned African-American essay writer who is best known for his ability to interweave narrative and argument into concise well-written essays. He had his first book published at the early age of 19 and has published some astounding literature during the time of civil rights activism. He succeeded himself to rise out of his poverty to become an amazing writer through self-determination and courage. In his essay entitled, “Notes of a Native Son”, Baldwin does an excellent job making use of binaries and repetition of words and phrases as well as switching back and forth from narrative to analysis....   [tags: James Baldwin]

Powerful Essays
1482 words (4.2 pages)

Baldwin's Notes of a Native Son Essay

- In My Father’s Eyes The essay “Notes of a Native Son” takes place at a very volatile time in history. The story was written during a time of hate and discrimination toward African Americans in the United States. James Baldwin, the author of this work is African American himself. His writing, along with his thoughts and ideas were greatly influenced by the events happening at the time. At the beginning of the essay, Baldwin makes a point to mention that it was the summer of 1943 and that race riots were occurring in Detroit....   [tags: James Baldwin]

Powerful Essays
2257 words (6.4 pages)

Notes of a Native Son Essay

- 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. On the 29th of July, 1943 Baldwin’s youngest sibling was born and on the same day just hours earlier his father took his last breath of air from behind the white sheets of a hospital bed. It seems all too ironic and honestly overwhelming for Baldwin....   [tags: James Baldwin]

Powerful Essays
1488 words (4.3 pages)