The Fire Next Time

By: Brooklynn, Savannah, and Marissa

Rhetorical Devices

Personification: In the second sentence on page 8, Baldwin refers to the city of Harlem as person, claiming other people, particularly whites, didn't know Harlem the way he did. In addition to this, I feel as though for Baldwin to identify a city this way, it really indicates how much Harlem means to him, and how badly whites have tarnished its good name.

Alliteration: In roughly the middle of page 18, Baldwin claims that Jesus has "binded the bodies of the boys in marriage." And this basically means that God is preparing a man for marriage. This also kind of shows a bit of historical context pertaining to typical theories dealing with marriage and maturity back then.

Irony: It is quite ironic that within page 33, Baldwin would identifies the population of the church as being "multicolored." Considering all of the racial tension going on at this point in time, one would probably think that a multi-racial church would be the least possible thing to ever exist.

Main Arguments

1. Accepting One's Past: Throughout the text Baldwin alludes to the fact that many African American's are unable to move on and better their lives as a result of not having pride in their past. Baldwin argues that accepting one's past is the only way for whites and African Americans to peacefully coexist and to help better society for all involved. Accepting one's past and being proud of it will help one move on and make an improvement in society, and will even make an individual stronger as a result.

2. African American Stereotypes: Throughout the text Baldwin emphasizes the affects that stereotyping has had on the African American youth and how whites perceive African Americans. Baldwin states that stereotypes have caused African Americans to act the way that whites expect them to, and be nothing more than unsuccessful members of a society based on white supremacy. Baldwin argues that in order for African Americans to improve their lives they must create their own paths in order to be successful and to make a positive difference in the world.

3. A House Divided: Baldwin argues that African Americans and whites cannot exist in separate spheres and must come together in order for America to prosper. Baldwin states that segregation and separate economies has and will continue to be destructive to the American way of life and must end. Baldwin believes that whites and African Americans must come to a compromise to allow for blacks to gain more power and influence in society.

Media Connection

This is a video of Malcolm X speaking about the fact that the lives of Africans who are still in Africa and those who had been forced into America have become so different. He further explains that Africans have gained more freedoms than African Americans in such a short time after being colonized, these freedoms being ones that African Americans should have the right to. Without these rights, African Americans were frequently discriminated against, which is brought up in many instances in Fire Next Time.