Go Tell It on the Mountain Essay

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A review of Go Tell It on the Mountain which focuses on Baldwin's use of irony.

Critics have complained that the point of view in James Baldwin's first novel is problematical. Very early in the novel we are told of the adolescent protagonist's religious doubts and we are led to trust a narrator who seems to state his case unambiguously. We are told in an opening church scene that John Grimes has no real belief, but it is the faith of his family and fellow church members that make the concept of faith real to him. Later, at the novel's end, during John's conversion, (when the reader would expect John's religious conflicts to end), no real resolution is offered. The reader is left with the question: Has John been converted (or saved) or not? The question remains because of Baldwin's use of an ironic voice during the conversion...

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This section contains 900 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Go Tell It on the Mountain Study Guide
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