Summary Of James Baldwin's Short Story Going To Meet The Man: Blindness Towards Racial Injustice In Society
James Baldwin was a unique African-American novelist, playwright and social critic who born in Harlem. In his works, Baldwin explores the prejudices on racial and sexual identities in American society. Usually, he tells the reader about torture, injustice and indignity against black people. Also, themes and narrative forms he used in his works were so affected. It is possible to observe references from the Bible in most of his works.
Due to his writing style and provocative language, he became one of the major literary artists in the civil rights era. One of his short stories that called Going To Meet The Man proves his ideas and answers why he is a unique writer. In the story, he explores a horrific torture and racism through the eyes of a man. Also, reader can observe traumatic affect of racism on people in that period.
The story starts with a scene in a bedroom of sheriff Grace and his wife Jesse. He wants to make love with his wife but he can’t. She doesn’t insist and he tries to sleep but he can’t because there are some problems with black people in the town. He is thinking on the next day. He and his fellow deputiesare going to attempt to prevent blacks from entering the town hall because blacks are demanding the right to vote in an attempt to cllear his head fort he upcoming days events, Jesse goes to make love to his wife grace and finds that he cannot frustrated with himself.
He goes into his head and thinks about when he is sexual and powerful and these take him to memories of raping young black woman and beating young black man. In fact, Jesse attaches himself to a memory where earlier in the week he and his fellow deputies beat some young black men who were protesting and singing. Moreover, delving futher into his memory, Jesse tells his wife that throughout his life black people are always singing. In these recollections, jesse stumles across a memory when he was a boyhood and his parents take him to his first lynching.
One day, his father and mother was driving to somewhere. They pass a group of black people while they were singing. Actually, it was a kind of ceremony because they were know a black man going to lynched. On the other hand, Jesse had a friend who called Otis. Otis was a black man and he feel ashamed when he remember him. In addition to these things, in the lynch area, white people bring picnic baskets, fried chickens and alcohols as if they are celebrating 4th of july. The lynching is terrible. White people hang to black people on the tree and they set a fire beneath the man. Jesse is exposed not only his first murder but prior to the murder, there is a castration of a black male.
After the murder, his parents seem happy and peaceful. Then, they go to home. The important thing to note Jesse is exposed to idea of racism. Even though he has no idea about racism, he witnessed most horrific side of racisim. It’s a terrible experience to be witnessed for a boyhood and it explains Jesse’s situation at present.
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