Notes of a Native Son: Stubbornness Vs. Persistence

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In James Baldwin's essay "Notes of a Native Son" he tries to show how his father has affected his life. Baldwin does not think that his father will or has any effect on his life. It is not until after his father dies that Baldwin realizes what his father had continually told him is actually be true. Baldwin's relationship with his father is very similar to most child parent relationship. Children often think that their parents know nothing and it is not until something actually happens that proves the parents are right that the children realize how erroneous they had been. Baldwin's representation of his father while his father is alive is that of total detestation towards him and his ideas. Most of Baldwin's memories of his father are bad ones: "I could see him, sitting at the window, locked up in his terrors' hating and fearing every living soul including his children who had betrayed him"(54). The vivid memories Baldwin has of his father are ones of his father's down falls. Baldwin rarely remembers the good things about his father: "I had forgotten, in the rage of my growing up, how proud my father had been of me when I was little"(64). Baldwin's father had always had pride for his children even though they did not connect with each other's ideas. Once his father dies, however, Baldwin actually sees what his father had been talking about all of those years and his depiction of his father completely changes. He now admires his father and his father's ideas. Baldwin had once thought that his father was just an obstinate man that had old morals. Baldwin was naïve and did not know all the ways of the world. He did no know the ways of the world; the ways his father knew all too well. Not until after Baldwin's f... ... middle of paper ... ...and accept each other as human beings: "The first idea was acceptance, the acceptance, totally without rancor, of life as it is, and men as they are"(67). People are people; it does not matter what color skin they have. People need to accept everyone as they are. Baldwin describes a situation where a diverse group of people are together: "Another thing that was striking was the unexpected diversity of the people who made up these groups"(60). Baldwin thought it strange that such a diverse group of people could possibly have something in common with each other. Baldwin's judgment here is the same judgment that Baldwin is complaining people are making about blacks and whites. It does not matter what age, skin color, or gender a person has or is in order for them to have something in common with each other. Works Cited Baldwin, James. "Notes of a Native Son"