6977 ENG 201 SECTION 9M2
“Go Tell It on the Mountain” by James Baldwin
In “Go Tell It on the Mountain” James Baldwin introduces themes of expectation, futility and pain. He does this through Florence, John and the symbol of tears.
Baldwin is saying that anticipation often brings about disappointment and suffering.
Florence hopes to have a better status and economic situation than her brother and the rest of the people from the South. She assumes her quality of life will improve when she moves up North and she tells Gabriel how next time they meet she will be wearing nicer clothes. “If you ever see me again, I won’t be wearing rags like yours.” While she is with her husband she had faith ...view middle of the document...
While cleaning the rug in his house, he feels ineffectual when failing to get rid of the dust. “...he felt that should he sweep it forever, the clouds of dust would not diminish...” As much as he tried, John was unsuccessful to understand God and the bible. “...which he read in the bible and found so hard to imagine.” John feels that, undependably of how big his efforts were he would never be able to be socially an equal with white people. “This world was not for him. If he refused to believe,...then he could try until the sun refused to shine...” John’s hopelessness on his achievements makes it hard for him to have faith in God and in his family.
Through the story tears are used to emphasize when the characters are undergoing uneasiness and strong painful emotional situations. When Gabriel finds out that his son has died he breaks out in tears showing an immense devastation. “...it seemed that there was weeping everywhere, waters of anguish riding the world; Gabriel weeping...” Esther feels extremely distressed when she has to communicate Gabriel about her misfortunate pregnancy, and she can’t prevent to let tears roll down her face as a proof of her misery. “I’m going to have a baby...having allowed her tears to begin, she could not stop them at once.” Florence in the other hand, cries out of anger because her husband’s actions are causing her an enormous feeling of discontent. “She began to cry...you all the time going to be spending your money on foolishness?” Gabriel, Esther, Florence and other characters through the story cry in need to sterilize their sentiments and also let go of soreness.