This story represents the effects of a parent child relationship and how it impacts the child even after the death of his parent.
Baldwin did not know his father very well, mainly because they shared different views about life. His father knew that the world had opportunities but felt they were only for the white person. Baldwin’s father was the first generation to be a free man. His father along with thousands migrated to the north after 1919. Baldwin’s father experienced first hand what is was like to be a slave and how the white people treated the blacks. This certainly affected how Baldwin’s father felt toward the white person. Baldwin, however, did not experience what it was like to be a slave.
Baldwin and his father never really connected as father and son. His father was a harsh man which made his son afraid to approach him.
Baldwin says, “When he took one of his children on his knee to play, the child always became fretful and began to cry; when he tried to help one of us with our homework the absolutely unabating tension which emanated from his caused our minds and our tongues to become paralyzed, so that he, scarcely knowing why, flew into a rage and the child, not knowing why, was punished.” (53)
This passage shows how Baldwin and his siblings were scared to be around their father. There was so much anger built up inside their father that whenever he would try to help one his children, they would become frightened and too scared to say or do anything, and that made their father even madder. Baldwin was afraid to have any of his friends over to his house because his father was mean to them. Baldwin’s father would tell his friends that they were in a league with the devil and intended to rob them. When his father did this it made Baldwin hate his father and not want to be around him. Baldwin’s father hated and feared most people he met. This fear and hatred even went towards his children wh...