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"Go tell it on the mountain" of James Baldwin

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  1. Introduction.
  2. The image of 'doubles'.
  3. Elisha as Gabriel's double and Richard Wright as David Baldwin's.
  4. The fact that Gabriel doesn't love john like a father loves his own child.
  5. This idea of contradiction.
  6. Conclusion.
  7. Readings.

Go Tell It on the Mountain was published in 1953; it is James Baldwin's first novel and a real success. It took him ten years to complete this work, he was a very polyvalent writer and he published novels: Another Country (1962), short stories: Going to Meet the Man (1965) scripts and plays: The Amen Corner (staged in 1955)? The author was born in Harlem in 1924; he attended New York City public schools and was a brilliant student. After graduation in 1942 he did manual jobs and moved to Greenwich Village to write. There he met Richard Wright, in 1944 who became his ?tutor?. In 1948 Baldwin moved to Paris, he spent six years in France and Switzerland where he worked for American journals and concentrated on the writing of his novel. As far as politics is concerned, James Baldwin was an activist in America's Civil Rights movement and achieved the status of unofficial African-American spokesman on racial issues.

[...] He goes to watch movies where the actors are all white and identify with the actress of the movie: decided to see this, for he identifies with the blond white woman ( He even dreams of having a life similar to a white man on p 40. This desire is part of the American Dream that is shared by all American citizens. The reader also has a contradictory feeling towards the character of Gabriel. Gabriel is detestable for what he did to Deborah, and does to Elizabeth and John. [...]


[...] But James like John doesn't believe his father, he is a brilliant student appreciated by his teachers, he's full of hopes and dreams for his future: was not only coloured people who praised John, ( ) but white people also said it ( and the school principal told him: ?You're a very bright boy, John Grimes ( John Grimes' father like James' mocked his physical appearance he called him on p21, he tells his son that face was the face of Satan?p30 and that he bears the ?mark of the devil's little finger?p31. [...]


[...] Suffering is also present in the novel, like God, Gabriel is seen as a martyr, a victim who has to bear the sin of his past, we can even think that he is dammed for ever since Esther on her death-bed cursed him: had died, then hating him; she had carried into eternity a curse on him and p 161 and the living proof of it is Royal whose screams prevented Gabriel from being forgiven: ?Then Gabriel prayed to be delivered from blood guiltiness. [...]

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