The Rockpile Short Story Analysis

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Over the course of the 1960’s James Arthur Baldwin emerged as one of the great influencers of writing regarding problems of society. James was born August 2nd, 1924 in Harlem, New York City to his single mother Emma Jones (F). James’ first novel composed was “Go tell it on the mountain” published in 1953, with multiple short stories speaking out about racial segregation and political influences on minorities of today’s world (P). James Baldwin was a late twentieth century author who presented racism, sexuality, and culture to persuade his readers to be more open to these issues and encourage them to fight for equality. Through “Sonny’s Blues” and “The Rockpile”, Baldwin expresses his concern about temptation, suffering, and isolation by making the…show more content…
“James Baldwin, ‘Untitled.’” Rethink., 8 Feb. 2017, www.ashokkarra.com/2017/02/james-baldwin-untitled/). Reading the novel “Going to meet the man”, you’ll stumble upon the short story “The Rockpile”. This short story was composed in 1965 and is regarded as one of Baldwin 's most influential short stories of the twentieth century (P). As the story goes, Roy and John are forbidden to play on the Rockpile as the other boys from the neighborhood do. Roy decides to go anyway, telling John not to tell anyone as he will be back soon. There Roy gets into a fight and gets hurt and starts bleeding. He is brought back into the house and as the father gets home, he tries to blame his step-mother and John for letting Roy go there. The father favors Roy because he is his real son and John the step-son serves as the scapegoat.
Filled with meaningful themes, Baldwin’s most recurring theme is ghetto and poor city violence (F). James uses his hometown of Harlem to showcase how much of a crime riddled place it can be. Firstly, the story displays violence among community members. In the beginning of the story, the narrator discusses the fights that take place on the rockpile during
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