Fire Next Time

3 Arguments made by Baldwin

Every attempt cuts the black man down (pg 69)

He talks about how every time a black man challenges a white mans rules, they are threatened. So since every time they attempt the keep the rules they are cutting the white man down. He also states that white people are actually the minority, so they should not think that they have the right to rule any longer.


RHETORICAL DEVICE #1: Pathos: pg 37. "My father slammed me across the face with his great palm, and in that moment everything flooded back." The pathos used is significant because it shows how the abuse that Baldwin sustained brings back many bad memories, and adds to the overall tone of the passage.

People do not want to be equal (pg 88)

He says that people do not want to be equal, because they always want someone to be superior. He says that he has met only a few people that want to be free, and that it is hard to bear. He also states that we are being controlled by the spiritual state of the nation.


RHETORICAL DEVICE #2: Comparison: "God had come a long way from the desert- but then so had Allah, though in a very different direction." (pg 46). This comparison is significant because it's also comparing African Americans to their White slave holders, as the Allah is the black God and God is the White God. This also brings the idea that blacks and whites are comparable, and not on separate levels.

Blacks and Whites need each other (pg 97)

He says that the blacks and the whites need each other in order to form a great nation. He says that creating a nation in itself is difficult and if they do not work together it will be nearly impossible.


RHETORICAL DEVICE #3: Metaphor: "African who is still attempting to digest or to vomit up the Bible." (Pg. 45). This metaphor is significant because it talks about Africans trying to understand or restate the Bible, it is given a negative connotation because of words vomit and digest, almost like the Bible is bad food. The overall impact of the metaphor gives the African's understanding of the Bible a negative connotation because of the religions cruelty to African Americans.



EXPLANATION FOR VIDEO: The Ted Talk by Dan Ariely shows different research on the distribution of wealth, and the statistics that show that we are not as equal as we think we are. It also shows that we intentionally are keeping it this way. This relates to the 2nd argument made by Baldwin about equality because whites want to stay superior to the blacks. Some of us feel the need to be superior in order to have a functioning society, and it is not true.