Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Elwood D. Watson

Committee Members

Henry J. Antikiewicz, Dale J. Schmitt


This study investigates how James Baldwin thought about history and treats his first novel as an important document in extricating his construct of the past. A close reading of the work reveals that it is an examination rather than a symptom of two powerful forces that dominate Baldwin's psychology, his father and his history.

James Baldwin felt the individual interpretation of one's experience is just as important as the experience itself. The novel is an informative exposition of how people interpret their experience and how that interpretation affects their psychology. Through Go Tell It on the Mountain Baldwin recreates the personal history he knows little about and is afforded a psychological freedom he would have never known without its completion. This study illuminates how useful fiction is to one's historical conscience and perception. The research exposes how important a sense of history is to the formation of identity.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.