Breath of Clarity

James Baldwins Sympathetic Effort Brings Precious Benefits

The essay, “Notes of a Native Son,” tells an admirable story about author James Baldwin’s efforts to restore his relationship with his dead father. Baldwin conquers this task by reevaluating his father’s legacy with a sympathetic attitude.

The author exhibits courageous maturity when he wholeheartedly attempts to view the world from his mentally ill father’s perspective. Baldwin’s father suffered from depression that was “beyond all hope of healing before anyone realized that he was ill”. Through compassionately examining the causes of his father’s harsh personality, Baldwin claims that his father was simply experiencing an uncontrollable internal struggle and not trying to “wreck the family”. Through this reasoning, Baldwin is able to forgive his father and focus on becoming a better man.

Baldwin’s story brought me an immense amount of insight into the beautiful role that triumph plays in evoking innate strength. Obstacles that people face in the process of coping with sadness alter their attitudes and allow them to emerge as even more stable individuals. The most significant selection of the essay is the image Baldwin creates of the children observing the father’s casket. Baldwin emphasizes this forced independence that the children had to acquire in order to survive the graphic moment. The once innocent child who failed to understand his father’s strict methods noted that the children’s legs (which represent a source of stability) seemed especially “exposed” in this circumstance. Baldwin finally found a sense of appreciation for his father’s ability to bring out his son’s natural strength.