"The Rigid Route to Awareness"

Essay by GloriamaUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, June 2007

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To get to the end of the road to get where we are going, even if we are unsure of where this is leading us to, sometimes the first steps can be the hardest. For example in the short story, "Going to Meet the Man," by James Baldwin, the story leads us to its characters' journey of how he learned the behavior of accepting racism through the permitting eyes of his parents. Then as an adult, facing the challenge that lied ahead and the conflict within himself about the lynching of this black man from the past and the current situation at hand, which he seemed to get excited about but unable to sleep, possibly displaying a conflict of this racism being wrong. The journey indeed is repulsive. "The Crucible," written by Arthur Miller displays a similar journey taken by a group of religious people who go to the extreme by hanging and burning their own, who are accused of having ties with Satan.

The lessons learned by these extreme measures were written in this short story and movie have awoken consciences to lead us to the Civil Rights we appreciate now and no more persecution for religious freedoms after the hanging took place. Although, Arthur Miller's intentions in writing "The Crucible," were for different purposes, the events that took place during that time in Salem stopped our government from allowing states to act unjustly by burning or hanging people accused of being witches.

James Baldwin (1924-1987) was born illegitimate, black, and poor in Harlem, New York City in 1924. With all odds stacked against him, he found a fascination in reading. His love and passion for this hobby led him to read an entire public library in New York. He educated himself by doing so and began...