Another Country is concerned with the intersection of race, sexuality, and society. Throughout, its characters struggle and suffer struggle with making it (whether artistically or in the sense of pure survival), struggle in their personal relationships, and suffer the prejudices of a socially stratified system. Juxtaposed to these dialogues of suffering is, perhaps, a dialogue of hope. But whether we ought to call this trajectory utopian is questionable. In order to analyze this problem, I will examine references to love in the novel, noting the different contexts in which the word is found and consequently its different meanings. I will also look at the figure of Rufus, analyzing how his representation changes throughout the novel, and look at references to another country as space of possibility. Finally, I will throughout look at the use of tone and language, examining how they further elucidate the tensions and themes of the novel.
[...] A utopia is a place apart, either physically or in its idealness, and therefore is only ideally human. But it is specifically through a humanizing trajectory that Baldwin creates his “other country”, if it is to be said that he creates it at all. Rather than offering love or another space as alternatives to a human world, and thus utopian in nature, Baldwin presents these places as uniquely human. Because the memory of Rufus weaves itself through the lives of these characters like a thread, he represents an all-human quality. [...]
[...] Forever (Baldwin Love as sexual force appears as the irrepressible me in Cass, take me, take says Richard in Cass' memory), and if the sexual cannot be realized for Cass, then perhaps her love can Forever. Forever.). But love is only assent in the face of denial. Sexual domination is linked to personal domination in the terrain of the field, where innocence takes both forms smell of crushed flowers rose to her nostrils. She began to cry.”). “Forever” is how long one must wait for physical gratification in this place, and love in its eternal patience replaces something more present and vital (367-369). [...]
[...] It is challenged in the reality of the character's suffering. “Wide-legged” also recalls the sexual, as well as a survival ethos that puts emphasis on the body and the filling of the chest recalls an act of showmanship, of rivalry in a world of competition. Love also appears in the context of Richard and Cass' relationship: “'I love you, Cass,' he said, his lips twitching and his eyes stunned with grief. ‘Tell me where you've been, tell me why you've gone so far away from me.' I,' she said, helplessly, ‘have gone away from you (Baldwin 368)?' In this passage, Cass explains to Richard that she has had an affair. [...]
[...] of these elements, particular to the struggle of the black community in the novel. Interesting is the use of the term The term implies a rhetoric of a people less than human, defined by a white, predominantly Christian society which values love as the ultimate virtue. Love, as defined by the value system, is a virtue of the heart, refined in the heart and mind, which rejects the body and its pleasures. Music, as a form closely tied to physical pleasure/expression, is similarly rejected. [...]
[...] Rufus is transformed from a violent, sorrowful figure, represented first by Vivaldo's loss and confusion, to a childish figure in need of reassurance and tenderness. Alongside the change in the representation of Rufus is Vivaldo's transformation. His night spent with Eric is a turning point for him. Here, he receives the love that he could not give to Rufus. And later, he confers this love on to Ida. Ida, in turn, experiences Rufus' death differently, with grief and conviction. Not only is it a source of deep sorrow for her, but it is a departure. [...]
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