The Fire Next Time

Jennifer Gaydos, Morgan Hester, Jeremy Sikes

Main Arguements

1.) Racism: The difficulties of being black while living in a white superior country


2.) Religion: While trying to find a gimmick, Baldwin gravitated towards Christianity, though later found himself doubtful in the church due to the overwhelming white influence.


3.) Justice: The failure in America's constitution and declaration of independence towards equality for all has fallen through, leaving us to wonder what morals America is based off of.

Media Connection

Freedom By: Beyonce ft. Kendrick Lamar


This song is similar to Baldwins ideals in that both will no longer surrender to white superiority. An example is seen since in "The Fire Next Time", Baldwin compares white people to the devil. In "Freedom", Beyonce sings "[I] won't let my freedom rot in hell" which is interpreted to Baldwin's idea of not letting a white society withhold his need for freedom and acceptance in his country.

Beyoncé - Freedom ( Live in Miami Formation Tour 2016 )

Rhetorical Devices

Parallel sentence structure: When the author writes, ”They still saw...They were waiting...They knew...They themselves did know” he describes his internal conflict of knowing that others were waiting for him to fail. By repeating these parallel phrases, Baldwin hopes to emphasize the recurring thought of doubting the bible and falling into the standards of ”pimps and prostitutes.”


Repetition: Baldwin uses the repeated phrase of "protect your woman" to emphasis the harsh realities women have endured thorough out history, specifically black women. At this point in the text, Baldwin agrees with Elijah on this point although they conflict with ideals in many other senses.


Allusion: Baldwin uses the Holocaust to describe a connection between the oppressed Jews and the oppressed blacks in America.