Go tell it on the Mountain is an exceptional novel that portrays the life of John, the main character. John's life as articulated through the novel is an accurate representation of James Baldwin's life. The quote above demonstrates John being saved as one of the saints of the church. Those that are the chosen ones like John were anointed the saints of the church and were at the top of the hierarchal structure. John observes early-on the spectacle the church portrayed and the deep contradictions those who regularly practiced, he nonetheless believed in it all. Throughout the story James Baldwin speaks through John as he critiques the practices within the church yet quotes the Bible vehemently. Perhaps it is religion that James Baldwin criticizes, but still believes in God. Religion is defined by the New Oxford American Dictionary as the freedom to practice their own religion; faith, belief, worship, creed. This is a literal definition but how Baldwin would analyze this definition is by de-constructing what belief means to one person versus another within the church. Of course there are lessons taught since he was younger from sunday school, to until he became a preacher but these lessons and teachings seep into his beliefs whether he noticed it or not. The multiplicity of characters in this story help to show how differently Baldwin defined religion, specifically how he defined religion in the context of his own life.
[...] John's life as articulated through the novel is an accurate representation of James Baldwin's life. The quote above demonstrates John being saved as one of the “saints” of the church. Those that are the chosen ones like John were anointed the “saints of the church” and were at the top of the hierarchal structure. John observes early-on the spectacle the church portrayed and the deep contradictions those who went regularly practiced, he nonetheless believed in it all. Throughout the story James Baldwin speaks through John as he critiques the practices within the church yet quotes the Bible vehemently. [...]
[...] In conclusion, Baldwin was trying to talk about religion as an individual experience and not one that can be experienced the same through all people. It is a personal connection that is developed over time whether it is through outside pressure, which John felt, or a personal pressure, which Florence eventually feels. Bibliography 1. Baldwin, James. Go Tell it on the Mountain. New York, NY: Bantam Dell, 1980. 2. Baldwin, James. The Price of The Ticket: The Fire Next Time. New York, St. Marin's/Marek 1985. Pages 333-379. [...]
[...] “How terrible it would be for Frank to rise on the ground that of judgment so far from home! And he surely would not scruple, even on that day, to be angry at the Lord. “Me and the Lord,” he said, he had often said, “don't always get along so well. he running the world like He thinks I ain't got good sense (91).” There is a type of silence in this quote where silencing the sin caused his death. [...]
[...] Nothing had ever changed it; nothing ever would. For a moment her pride stood up; the resolution that had brought her to this place to-night faltered, and she felt that if Gabriel was the Lord's anointed, she would rather die and endure Hell for all eternity than bow before His altar. But she strangled her pride, rising to stand with them in the holy space before the altar... (67). Florence in this moment is defining religion as something that stifles, that changes, like it changed her brother. [...]
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