Literary Analysis of James Baldwin's Notes of a Native Son

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About this sample


Words: 1532 |

Pages: 3|

8 min read

Published: Dec 16, 2021

Words: 1532|Pages: 3|8 min read

Published: Dec 16, 2021

Introduction: There is a flimsy line between adoration and loathe in James Baldwin's paper 'Notes of a Native Son.' Throughout this article James Baldwin persistently makes references to life and death, blacks and whites, and love and hate. He utilizes his little experiences to clarify a lot bigger, increasingly confounded picture of life. Background: From the first passage of the article to the last section, Baldwin persistently makes connections on his perspective on life; starting with the day, his dad died, to the time that his dad was put to rest. Thesis statement: James Baldwin is an exceptional writer, who innovatively shows his capacity to weave portrayal and investigation all through his expositions.

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All through the whole article, Baldwin's range appears to keep developing, explicitly in the passages where Baldwin is indicated extraordinary bias. Evidence & citing: This is particularly evident when he strolls into a cafe with a friend to get something to eat. The man at the counter inconsiderately asks them what they need. Baldwin answers stridently that they need a burger and espresso. With this, the man expresses that they do not serve Negroes. After a couple of additionally ridiculing remarks, Baldwin and his companion leave the coffee shop. Baldwin mostly went into another eatery and sat down until the server came over (Margolies, Edward.). Commentary: He depicts his anger towards whites as he portrays the server. He states, 'I detested her for her white face, and her extraordinary dumbfounded, alarmed eyes. I felt that if she found a black man so terrifying I would make her trepidation worth-while”. The server, practically sounding regretful, disclosed to him that Negroes were not served at this café. This statement made Baldwin feel 'colder and more dangerous than any time in recent memory.' He needed to fold his hands over her neck and gag her. In the wake of understanding that she could never approach enough to do this Baldwin tosses a water mug towards her head. The breaking of the cup snaps Baldwin out of his stupor, and he dashes for the entrance. Commentary: The majority of his repressed annoyance detonated. Baldwin has submitted a good demonstration. He understands later the seriousness of his actions.

Topic sentence: James Baldwin is an exceptionally prestigious African-American author who is best known for his capacity to entwine account and contention into short elegantly composed articles. Evidence & citing: his first book published when he was 19 years and has released some bewildering writing amid the season of social equality activism. He succeeded himself to ascend out of his neediness to turn into a stunning author through self-assurance and strength. In, 'Notes of a Native Son,' Baldwin works admirably utilizing pairs and redundancy of words and expressions just as exchanging forward and backward from narrative to critique.

At a point in his story, Baldwin has not explicitly called attention to these shrewd parallels and repetition of words; however, they can without much of a stretch begotten by the acute reader. These doubles and Baldwin's purposeful word repetition use are then uncovered through Baldwin's story composing towards the finish of his exposition. Baldwin's composition will, in general, be very themed which, once more, is accomplished by rehashing catchphrases and expressions. Baldwin will utilize words like dread, abhorring, dreading, and disloyalty to shape a picture of what his dad felt towards the 'white world' Baldwin paints a picture of the manner in which that his dad saw the world and furthermore to differentiate how he more likely than not felt when his family was so close to thee white populace (Baldwin, James.). Later in the exposition, Baldwin lets us know of how vigilant his dad was of giving a white teacher a chance to take his child to see a theater production; something which was not commonly permitted in the Baldwin family. With the goal for Baldwin to see the play, his mom needed to induce her husband that the explanation behind releasing James to the auditorium was for him to get an education. Baldwin imparts to us how the education contention conveyed a severe load for his dad. We see that Baldwin will utilize the expression 'bitter' while referencing a side of his dad just as a power brought onto blacks by the white man.

Topic sentence: James Baldwin is known to be one amongst the best article scholars in the twentieth century who composed on a couple of subjects including race, segregation, sexuality and above all his encounters. In 'Notes of a Native Son,' he utilizes two principal methodologies to express what is on his mind. To begin with, he gets a kick out of the chance to recount to a story in an account see. Following is typically his analysis of the occasion. He depicts the occasion and after that gives his hypothesis on the issue. By doing this, he concedes the reader an opportunity to translate the significance. His understanding may not be the same as that on the reader. He gets a kick out of the chance to contend and gives the premise to his contention in 'Notes of a Native Son.' All through the story, he discusses himself and his dad.

There are stories he joins in outlining the point. In the center, we move to a progressively conceited account. He recounts his story in New Jersey where he thought he could murder somebody. He shares a portion of his contemplations of why individuals went about as they did towards him and others. This is a compelling way he utilizes describing and breaking down to work for the reader's understanding. The article expounds his association with his dad. He portrays his dad as brutal unpleasant, and beautiful. He mentions his dad many times. On the other side, he reveals to us a portion of the great too (Seresin, Indiana). All through his narrating, the reader gets a look into his life and how he feels. His sentiments advance amid the extent of the article. In the narratives he tells, the word hate appears much of the time. It is in some cases utilized his dad. 'I didn't see anything in all respects unmistakably, but I saw this: that my life, my reality, was in peril, and not from anything other individuals may do but rather from the contempt I conveyed in my own heart.' He says. This scorn he discusses exists towards his dad. Different elements contribute as well; however, they are not as frequently told. The demise had excited sentiments inside Baldwin that he believed he needed to get out. His scorn of his dad keeps going through the vast majority of the paper.

James Baldwin's 'Notes of a Native Son' exhibits his mind-boggling and exciting association with his father. Baldwin's association with his dad is fundamentally the same as most father-child connections; however, the impact of racial separation on the lives of both makes it distinctive. At the start, Baldwin acknowledges the way that his father was endeavoring to look after him, however where it counts, he wants to feel that his dad was forcing his musings and experiences on him. Baldwin's delineation of his association with his dad, while he was alive, is loaded with loathing and hate for him and his belief systems, yet as he develops, he finds his dad in himself.

The white world had closed the door on him, and he at long last yielded the weight of being black. Baldwin asserts, 'I had found the heaviness of the white individuals on the planet.' Baldwin understood that his dad was not endeavoring to go along his supremacist convictions. He was endeavoring to spare them from the horrifying behavior of the whites towards them. He found the explanation for the harshness in his dad. Baldwin likewise wound up mindful that the harshness, which he had once detested in his dad, was currently a piece of him 'The sharpness which had murdered my dad could likewise kill me.' Baldwin did not need to carry on with a desolate life; the dread of getting to be, what his father used to be, abided in Baldwin. He understood that he needed to free himself of the bitterness before the sharpness removed him from his family as it had to his father (Baldwin, James).

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Conclusion paragraph: Baldwin felt torn between the sentiments of scorn that he had dependably felt for his dad and a gnawing feeling of the blame for not having the capacity to comprehend the purpose behind his father's disengaged conduct. He accentuates, 'The minute I saw him I knew why I had put off this visit so long. I told my mother that I would not like to see him since I loathed him. Be that as it may, this was not true. It was just that I had despised him and I needed to clutch this disdain'. Baldwin was hesitant to concede that his disdain was negligible, but that feeling of detest had lived in him for an extended length of time that he could recollect.

Works Cited

  • Baldwin, James. Notes of a native son. No. 39. Beacon Press, 1984.
  • Baldwin, James. Notes of a native son. Royal Blind Society of New South Wales., 1998.
  • Seresin, Indiana. 'Notes of a Native Son Notes of a Native Son.' LitCharts.LitCharts LLC, 6 Jun 2017. Web. 8 May 2019
  • Margolies, Edward. 'Native Sons: A Critical Study of Twentieth-Century Negro American Authors.' (1968).

Introduction close-button

Should follow an “upside down” triangle format, meaning, the writer should start off broad and introduce the text and author or topic being discussed, and then get more specific to the thesis statement.

Background close-button

Provides a foundational overview, outlining the historical context and introducing key information that will be further explored in the essay, setting the stage for the argument to follow.

Thesis statement close-button

Cornerstone of the essay, presenting the central argument that will be elaborated upon and supported with evidence and analysis throughout the rest of the paper.

Topic sentence close-button

The topic sentence serves as the main point or focus of a paragraph in an essay, summarizing the key idea that will be discussed in that paragraph.

Evidence & citing close-button

The body of each paragraph builds an argument in support of the topic sentence, citing information from sources as evidence.


After each piece of evidence is provided, the author should explain HOW and WHY the evidence supports the claim.

Conclusion paragraph close-button

Should follow a right side up triangle format, meaning, specifics should be mentioned first such as restating the thesis, and then get more broad about the topic at hand. Lastly, leave the reader with something to think about and ponder once they are done reading.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Literary Analysis Of James Baldwin’s Notes Of A Native Son. (2021, December 16). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 25, 2024, from
“Literary Analysis Of James Baldwin’s Notes Of A Native Son.” GradesFixer, 16 Dec. 2021,
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