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James Baldwin Writing Styles in Notes of a Native Son

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Style

Narrator

Baldwin uses a variety of narrators in his essays. Sometimes he prefers to use the first person singular, such as in "Autobiographical Notes" and "Notes of a Native Son," the use of which fits the personal topics of these essays. Baldwin changes to a first person plural narrator in "Many Thousands Gone," using the pronoun we in a somewhat unusual manner. For instance, he writes: "Today, to be sure, we know that the Negro is not biologically or mentally inferior." In this way, Baldwin removes his personal investment in the "Negro" referred to and either joins himself to those who are not "Negro" or in some abstract way bridges the gap between black and white populations, encouraging a psychological blending of the races.

In some of the other essays in this collection, Baldwin takes on a more journalistic third-person tone, such as in "Carmen Jones" and "Encounter on...

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This section contains 436 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Notes of a Native Son Study Guide
Copyrights
Notes of a Native Son from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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