The Fire Next Time
Analysis for AP English 3 by Sarah Gusewelle
2) Religion: Baldwin does not believe the African American race should believe in the Muslim faith simply due to racial issues, yet he also acknowledges major issues with the institution of Christianity. Baldwin identifies himself as a member of the Christian religion early on, but discusses the issues he has with the church's corruption. The issue therefore is largely an issue of race, as Baldwin connects leaders of Islam in the United States as dismissing Christianity as a religion only for whites who oppress others. Thus, to combat racism, one must have a balance of religion and actual political activity to accomplish change in the eyes of Baldwin.
3) Society/Politics: To address the topic of inequality among many spectrums (but mostly discrimination of African Americans) Baldwin explains the historical concepts behind issues currently faced when he wrote the text. With this idea, he motivates his audience to start a Revolution that would in effect end this, saying that people are the ultimate reasons we are in such a horrible state of affairs between races, but policy changes are the only effective way to bring true change.
The Fire Next Time was written by James Baldwin in 1962. This is a nonfiction text.
2) Metaphor: On page 43, Baldwin writes, “It will be great for America, incidentally, when we begin to eat bread again, instead of the blasphemous and tasteless foam rubber that we have substituted for it.” The bread is a symbol for a whole-hearted substance of true religion rather than faith only for the purpose of not going to Hell. In other words, Baldwin exemplifies his want for society to remember God not only for their benefit, but to look for hope in a time when it seems there is little.
3) Tone: On page 91, Baldwin summarizes his message in a call-to-action, claiming, "we are living in an age of revolution, whether we will or no and that America is the only Western nation with both the power and, as I hope to suggest, the experience that may help to make these revolutions real and minimize the human damage." With a Motivational tone, Baldwin sounds like a preacher as he describes what revolution of politics must take place in America for change to occur in a successful manner. Therefore, this tone reveals his hope for America while acknowledging how much effort it will take to get America to the state it should be for all of its citizens.