James Baldwin Short Fiction Analysis
James Baldwin is widely regarded as one of the United States’ most important writers in the latter part of the twentieth century. Baldwin’s writing career spanned more than four decades and is remarkable for its wide diversity of literary expression, encompassing fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and plays. He was considered the most important American writer during the 1950’s, 1960’s, and 1970’s on the issue of racial inequality. The repeated thrust of his message, centered on being black in a white America, touched a responsive chord. Disgusted with American bigotry, social discrimination, and inequality, he exiled himself in France, where he poured out his eloquent and passionate criticism. Baldwin also wrote with compelling candor about the Church, Harlem, and homosexuality. He often fused the themes of sex and race in his work. Today, Baldwin’s essays are considered his most important contribution to literature.
“The Man Child”
Baldwin’s “The Man Child,” the only story in Going to Meet the Man that has no black characters, scathingly describes whites, especially their violent propensities. The central character is Eric, an eight-year-old. The story opens as he, his mother, and his father are giving a birthday party for Jamie, his father’s best friend. In the next scene Eric and his father walk together and then return to the party. After a brief summary of intervening events, the story moves forward in...
(The entire section is 2448 words.)
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