How does Baldwin make power a prominent theme?

Going to Meet the Man” is unique in African American literature in that it focuses on the experiences of Jesse, a white character. Discuss the purposes and effects of narrating the story from this perspective. Why do you think Baldwin chose to narrate the story from Jesse’s point of view? Who do you think might be the target audience for the story? What are the possible effects upon readers of using this narrative perspective? In particular, what effect did this strategy have upon you as a reader? Why? Given the issues and themes dealt with here, do you believe this is an effective strategy? Why or why not?

2. “Going to Meet the Man” is about many things, but it is primarily about the struggle for power. Discuss the development of this theme in the story. How does Baldwin make power a prominent theme? What are the different kinds of power on display in the story? How can you tell? Who benefits from the exercise of power? How is power challenged? Why is it? How is this related to the era in which the story appeared (early 1960s)? What do you believe Baldwin is trying to say or demonstrate to the reader about American culture?

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