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He hopes that someone will remember that this day in March, 1935, is a special one, his day.Only his mother remembers; she gives him a chance to be by himself for the day.Before the night is over John will undergo a religious transformation, experiencing salvation on the "threshing-floor" of his family's storefront Harlem church. What John does not know, but the reader does, is that the man he thinks is his father—Gabriel—is, in fact, his stepfather; unbeknownst to John, Gabriel's resentment of him has nothing to do with himself and everything to do with Gabriel's own concealed past.
Gabriel, her brother, had been a wild young man, but he repented, became a preacher, and married a fallen woman named Deborah.
Succumbing to temptation, however, he impregnated a young woman he worked with and then refused to acknowledge his paternity.
During the day, John, who is given to introspection, ponders his life and what he wants to make of it.
Religion and art are the two contradictory impulses that seem to war for control over his future.
The novel is steeped in the language of the King James Bible, and the Bible is a constant presence in the characters' lives; thus, a familiarity with Biblical stories can enhance the reader's understanding of the text.
Creative Copywriting Course - Go Tell It On The Mountain By James Baldwin Essay
At the heart of the story three main conflicts intertwine: a clash between father and son, a coming-of-age struggle, and a religious crisis.He watched his son Royal grow before his eyes and heard of the boy’s violent death in a knife fight.Gabriel drifted in despair, his wife passed on, and he came to New York to begin a new life. Elizabeth was nine when her mother died, and, because her father ran a brothel, she went to live with her aunt in Maryland.There she fell in love with a young man named Richard; they moved to New York....(The entire section is 587 words.) describes a long day in the life of John Grimes, who awakens on his fourteenth birthday as the novel opens.The spiritual and physical attraction he feels toward Brother Elisha, a young preacher in his church, also torments him. It is a condition perhaps destined for him by the nature of his birth.He is the illegitimate son of Elizabeth and Richard.The conflict is further symbolized in his attraction to Brother Elisha, who becomes his spiritual father in ways that his step-father, the Reverend Gabriel Grimes, cannot. The first, “The Seventh Day,” is an exploration of John’s psyche.John’s plight is developed not through dense plotting but rather through a psychological portrait of him and his family. For readers to understand fully this complicated young man, Baldwin must explain his family history.“It became Florence’s deep ambition to walk out one morning through the cabin door, never to return.” When her mother falls mortally ill, that is...1935: America was, like most of the world, in the midst of a long economic depression, which began with the collapse of the stock market on October 29, 1929 and lingered into the early 1940s.