Go Tell It on the Mountain is a 1953 semi-autobiographical Book by James Baldwin. It tells the story of John Grimes, an intelligent teenager in 1930s Harlem, and his connection to his loved ones and his church. The novel also shows the back stories of John’s mum, his biological dad, and his abusive, spiritual enthusiast step-father, Gabriel Grimes.
The publication focuses on the role of the Pentecostal Church at the lifestyles of African-Americans, as a negative supply of repression and moral hypocrisy and also as a positive source of community and inspiration. Time Magazine comprised the book in its TIME 100 Best English-language Publications from 1923 to 2005.
Go Tell It On The Mountain James Baldwin Summary
The title Go Tell It on the Mountain comes out of a Negro spiritual. The publication is steeped in the language of the King James Bible, and the Bible is a continuous presence in the characters’ lives; consequently, a familiarity with Biblical tales can improve the reader’s comprehension of the text.
At the heart of the narrative three chief conflicts intertwine: a conflict between father and son, a coming-of-age battle, along with a religious crisis.
Baldwin deals with issues of race and racism more elliptically in this novel than in his other works, but these issues inform all three of the text’s central problems–indeed, according to some critics, these problems take center stage in the publication, though subtly.
Baldwin also utilizes prolonged flashback episodes to recount the lives of John’s aunt and parents and to link this urban warfare at the North to his slave grandmother in a previous South.
The first section follows John’s thoughts, the second largely his kid’s, the third his dad’s, the fourth his mother’s, and the fifth again largely John’s.
John does not understand why his dad hates him, booking his passion for John’s younger brother Roy instead. He’s torn between his desire to win his father’s love and his hatred for his father (along with the strict religious world this guy represents).
The boy considers himself to have dedicated the first important sin of his life–a belief which helps precipitate a spiritual crisis. Before the night is finished John will undergo a spiritual transformation, experiencing salvation on the “threshing-floor” of his household’s storefront Harlem church.
Yet this will not make him his dad’s love. What John does not know, but the reader does, is that the man he believes is his dad–Gabriel–is, in actuality, his stepfather; unbeknownst to John, Gabriel’s resentment of him has nothing to do together and what to do with Gabriel’s own hidden past.