Circulating Emotions in James Baldwin’s Going to Meet the Man and in American Society
Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
This essay explores how James Baldwin’s short story Going to Meet the Man depicts racist attitudes toward African-Americans in American society. Further, this essay also shows how racism is linked to a circulation of emotions that unconsciously generates a xenophobic nation affecting even those who implicitly are regarded as genuine citizens of that community. By using two theoretical perspectives, Sara Ahmed’s theory of affective economies and some of Freud’s concepts from psychoanalysis, this essay analyzes Baldwin’s text and discovers how the American nation needs to accept and recognize its racist history, just as a child needs to acknowledge his or her fear when experiencing traumatic events. Baldwin’s narrative reinforces racist stereotypes while at the same time using the text to write back to a society that at the time of writing had not expected, but indeed needed, an African-American man to publish a book from a white man’s perspective.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , 20 p.
Ahmed, America, Baldwin, emotions, fear, Freud, psychoanalysis, racism, sexuality, stereotypes, uncanny
General Literature Studies
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-32420OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-32420DiVA: diva2:1089178
Subject / course
2017-01-11, Flemingsberg, 14:00 (English)