Analysis Of The Narrative Son By James Baldwin And Citizen : An American Lyric By Claudia Rankine

1037 Words Aug 9th, 2016 null Page
Both Notes of a Narrative Son by James Baldwin and Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine address issues of racial discrimination in the United States through writing. James Baldwin’s essay uses literary strategy termed framed narrative, which the narrative begins and ends with his father’s death. This technique leads the reader from a story into another that provide different perspective and meanings. Unlike Baldwin, Claudia Rankine not only writes in the second person but also displays images in each chapter to represent different poems. Her methods of writing make readers comprehend the struggle of Black individuals. Baldwin and Rankin published their books about sixty years apart, yet, they both present cathartic experiences for readers to understand racism towards African Americans. James Baldwin frames his essay, “Notes of a Native Son” by describing the bitterness of his father felt towards the world. His father is the “first generation of free men” (Baldwin, 86), which he gains his bitterness from experiencing various racial discriminatory acts from White population. His father has constantly reminded and given him such warnings: “white friend in high school were not really [his] friends… white people would do anything to keep a Negro down” (Baldwin, 92). Due to his past, he grows up and forms a habit of not trusting white people. Thus, he hopes his son would not be as bitter as him.
Baldwin can’t relate to the bitterness of the world or his father, but it is…

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