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Rewriting the Future

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  1. Introduction
  2. Pride: Describing both the plight and the power of people
  3. The defensive pride
  4. Solutions and a cure
  5. The logical appeal that is undeniably important
  6. Conclusion
  7. Works cited

The passage of Exodus 20:5 discusses the inheritance of ?the sins of the father laid upon the children,? illustrating the idea that one generation's legacy is often placed on the shoulders of its offspring. Children must learn the ways of the world, that is, become prepared to exist in whatever reality they may be born into. James Baldwin's Notes of a Native Son is analogous to this biblical ideology. In his narrative, Baldwin attempts to find the reasoning behind his father's ways to thereby discover an escape route for himself, because he wants anything but to become a man like his father: a man filled with misdirected anger.

[...] Even in the Harlem riots described by Baldwin, the rioters are depicted as mirror images, ?each face having the same bitter shadow.? Baldwin seems to believe that it is bitterness, albeit warranted, that is causing the self-mutilating uproar of a nation of black individuals unaware of their own self-infliction. Since it is this bitterness and pride that Baldwin recognizes as the destroyer and grand limiter of men, he also wishes to reinforce and understanding in the reader of its nature, so perhaps the reader will understand the need for his proposed solution. [...]

[...] Baldwin's father was forced by a female relative to keep a picture of Armstrong on the wall, but later when she was in a sickly state, he refused to help her. He meant only to save his own face, to validate his pride. This pride led him to be a warrior not unlike Baldwin's analogy of a ?tribal chieftain,? albeit a subdued one. Of course, the only warrior-like aspects of his personality shone through in his preaching and, most importantly, the raising of his children. [...]

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