James Baldwin: Going to Meet the Man (2586 words)

Context

James Baldwin’s 1965 short story “Going to Meet the Man” explores the complex race-sex obsessions of Southern society during a historical moment when its caste-based power was severely challenged by civil rights activism. The central character, Jesse, is an Alabama deputy sheriff who defends the white supremacist order that has shaped his identity and worldview. Although the reader is asked to understand how the story’s anti-hero had been damaged by witnessing a gruesome lynching at the age of eight, Baldwin does not invite sympathy for the character (Miller 100). Rather, through Jesse, Baldwin probes the psychology of racist oppression to expose primal fears and urges that have determined U.S. social history.

Citation: Chura, Patrick. "Going to Meet the Man". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 April 2020 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=4915, accessed 23 September 2021.]

4915 Going to Meet the Man 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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