James Baldwin experienced personal suffering while being raised as an African American in an abusive home-setting. He also had other modifying factors that caused personal torment.
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“How An Author Expresses Personal Pain Through Literary Examples”Group Members: Angela Corts, Eric Wilber, Brandi Henry,, and Tiffany Trapp
Who Experiences Pain?- You and I- Family Members- Addicts- Emotionally DistressedWhat Causes Pain?- Horrid Childhood- Life Events- Inflicted Pain- Instigated Factors Substance Abuse Self-Destructive Relationships Environment
SOCIALLY: In support groups, visual presencePERSONALLY: Verbal and physical such as facial mannerisms; through the use ofexpressions, body language, tears, presence of art: paintings, cinematography, drama, andmisery literature (poems, novels, short stories)
“The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.”- Anais Nin“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”- Ray Bradbury “Writing is both mask and unveiling.” – E.B. White “Was it only by dreaming or writing that I could find out what I thought?”- Joan Didion“Being an author is having angels whisper in your ear- and devils, too.” – Terri Guillemets
Reasons Why Authors Create Literary Pieces To Tell A Story A Form Of Expression Purposely To Teach To Entice The Imagination
Abusive Raised in a poverty stricken Father environment.Homosexual Prejudice andAcceptance Segregation
James Baldwin was born on August 2, He became a young writer for his high 1924 in a poor and poverty-stricken school in the Bronx called DeWitt Harlem, New York. He was raised by a Clinton. Due to financial family burdens, single mother, Emma Berdis Jones with he pursued odd jobs and eventually many siblings. His mother married a joined the U.S. Army. During this time preacher named David Baldwin when frame, he experienced various acts of James was 3 yrs. old. His step-father prejudice, such as being denied in was abusive and in which influenced certain public establishments because he him to join a church, which became his was an African American man in a escape from a rough home life. At the segregated society. age of 14, James became a Pentecostal preacher.
Popular Writings: “Go Tell It On The Mountain” (1953)- literary work about the painful struggles of being raised in the rough neighborhood of Harlem City. “Giovanni’s Room” (1956)- focused on the struggles of homosexual relationships. “The Fire Next Time” (1963)- about racial discrimination and religious challenges. “Sonny’s Blues” (1957) - Inspired by life events of personal struggles and emotional pain.
The story begins as a narrative piece being told by the unnamed older brother of avulnerable character name Sonny. The narrator has just been notified of an unexpectedarrest of his little brother for drug possession. The narrator grieves and longs for theinnocence Sonny once had as a child.His face had once been bright and open, there was a lot of copper in it; and he’d hadwonderfully direct brown eyes, and great gentleness and privacy (58).While Sonny is in prison, the narrator receives a letter where Sonny states the desperation tohear from his brother. He writes, “I feel like a man who’s been trying to climb up out of somedeep, real deep funky hole and just saw the sun up there, outside” (61). He also tries toexplain how fear got the best of him to end up in prison.
Poor, dirty, harsh surroundings wasa background for developingemotional neglect, disappointment,and failure.Harlem helped mold the brothersinto who they became; Sonny as aself-destructive and troubledindividual; Narrator (brother)developed self-motivation to leavethe horrible surroundings.A reflection of the environmentJames Baldwin was raised in.
In the 1950s, the civil rights movement was in full force. Being anAfrican American male, James Baldwin was easily exposed to theinequality and mistreatment for being a minority. He experienced firsthand harsh treatment of social neglect and racism.James Baldwin hints the presence of racism and the down fall it cancause in “Sonny’s Blues.” He uses Sonny’s father as an example withcreating a fictional death of a family member, instigated by prejudiceand an act of a hate crime.Till the day he died, he wasn’t sure but that every white man he saw was theman that killed his brother (66).The reflection of anger and hatred, ignited by prejudice and thepresence of racism is very present in his literary work.
Failure- Sonny’s brother feels like he failed his mother for not keepingthe promise of being Sonny’s protector.Disappointment- Sonny’s brother hints disappointment in himself fornot being a present brother Sonny should have. He also isdisappointed in Sonny for leading the life he chose.Abandonment- Sonny feels alone and deserted by his brother in adark world full of self-suffering.These examples are reflections of the author’s emotional turmoil of hisviews of a segregated America and “the struggle for human freedom”(57). The mentioning of desertion reflects on how James Baldwin’sbiological father abandoned his family.
“There isn’t any other tale to tell, it’s the only light we’ve got in all this darkness” .The narrator seems to come to terms with what has happened andillustrated by this quote comes to an epiphany: that we make ourown inspiration by seeing things that inspire and motivate us.Those same emotions that he wholeheartedly felt can be used asfuel to get through even the toughest times. In this sense thedarkness fades and the emotions that once accompanied darktimes are channeled into motivation to not stop and to not acceptemotional defeat.