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Essay on Flashbacks, Thrid Person Narration, and Harsh Language in Another Country

Use of Flashbacks, Thrid Person Narration, and Harsh Language in Another Country

James Baldwin’s novel, Another Country , is enhanced by Baldwin’s unique narrative style. The majority of the exposition of Another Country is presented through flashbacks. Baldwin uses the third person omniscient point of view to narrate his characters’ personal thoughts and develop the characters. Lastly, Baldwin intensifies the rage and anger through his uncommonly harsh diction. Quite often Baldwin oversteps the traditional bonds of appropriate language. Although his diction is not appealing, it is both strong and effective. Such words evoke emotions in all readers.

“You took the best, why not take the rest?” is the opening statement of Another Country. Readers begin the novel with the description of a man who has sunk to a low position in life. This man has fallen from his position as a prominent jazz musician to the lowest of street bums. His hair is uncombed; his body is unclean. He has descended from a very public position to a place where he hides from family, friends and police. And finally, in desperation, this man sells his body to another man for food and drink.

All this action takes place in two pages. It is at the bottom of the second page that Baldwin give…

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…the novel. Through harsh language Baldwin intensifies the anger. One such example is this passage:

“I’ll be back,” he (Vivaldo) said.

“No, you won’t,” said Rufus. “I’ll kill you if you come back” (58).

This passage expresses great rage when it is placed in context. Rufus is talking to his one true friend. His words are abrasive and at times abusive. Baldwin’s diction represents the anger of his characters and his time.

Another Country is written in an intense narrative style. James Baldwin utilizes the techniques of flashback narration, omniscient point of view and harsh language to increase the power of his novel.

My Antonia Essay: The Role of Men in My Antonia

The Role of Men in My Antonia

Gloria Steinem once wrote that “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.” Clearly she is attempting to assert women’s independence and further the liberation movement. However, her analogy is not quite complete. A bicycle has absolutely no place in a fish’s life, but whether she needs him or not, men are very much present in a women’s life. While a women can survive without a male influence, his influence shapes much of her personality. This role of man manifests itself in the lives of the women of Black Hawk but most vividly in the form of the working girls.

While working in Black Hawk, the hired girls assert their independence from men in practical matters but also proclaim their dependence in defining their personality. Tony, Tiny, Lena, and any other country girl ever to work in town can clearly survive without a male influence. They are, in fact, supporting the men with the funds they send home. However, as each is independent from men for survival, each is still defined by their actions and attitudes toward men. Lena Lingard is most outwardly defined by men. In the fields and the cattle she exists in a male vacuum where she can be wild like the fields around her. Once she is exposed to town life and men, she still retains the wild nature, but it is now covered by a facade of new dresses instead of her earlier rags. “The unusual color of her eyes – a shade of deep violet – and their soft, confiding expression” are no longer representative of her pure nature, but instead an object to be lusted over by men (150). Lena doesn’t need men to survive, but she needs men to be beautiful. In similar fashion, the farm physiques of Tiny and Ant…

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…back], you’re here, like my father. So I won’t be lonesome” (256). Those memories of her father and Jim are all that Antonia posses of her past and they are all that shapes her future

No woman truly needs a man to sustain life; but men will often shape their future. As clearly shown in My Antonia , men often have an undeniable impact on women’s’ personalities and choices of lifestyle. Mrs. Steinem’s metaphor does not hold. A bicycle has no place in a fish’s world, but men and women cannot be separated. Any past action inevitably shapes one’s future. If a man exists anywhere in a woman’s world he will affect her life whether it be in a positive or negative fashion. The more appropriate metaphor would be something like “Women need men like a fish needs nuclear waste”. You certainly don’t need it, but if it’s there, it’s going to have an impact on your life.

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