What literary techniques does Baldwin use in Notes of a Native Son?

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teachertaylor | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Baldwin uses a variety of literary and rhetorical techniques in Notes of a Native Son.  He uses direct address and shifting narrative points of view to name a couple.  His use of imagery stands out in the essays, most notably in the last essay of the collection, "Stranger in the Village."  Baldwin describes a trip that he made to Switzerland where he stayed in a small village.  He paints a vivid picture of the village and the peculiarities that mark its character:

[While discussing the high number of people who visit the local hot spring) There is often something beautiful, there is always something awful, in the spectacle of a person who has lost one of his faculties, a faculty he never questioned until it was gone, and who struggles to recover it.

So, Baldwin not only details the images in the essay, he also reflects on what he has seen and experienced.

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