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Essay about If Beale Street Can Talk Analysis

Baldwin’s book “If Beale Street Can Talk” is about a couple named Fonny and Tish who are said to have a kid together. Fonny is in jail and Tish is trying her all to get him out with a lawyer. Tish’s parents and Fonny’s dad are consistently trying find ways to get him out of jail while his mother has a different outlook on the situation. She believes that his current predicament is all within God’s plan, and time in jail will allow him to learn his lesson. She is blindly arrogant to helping free her son as well as accept the fact that Tish, the girl that she dislikes, is going to eventually have Fonny’s kid.

Mrs. Hunt is arrogant because it’s a way to cover up her unbalanced life. Mrs. Hunt feels that she has a sense of superiority over others; which is shown by the way she dresses and exposes herself publicly, even at religious gatherings such as church. Mrs. Hunt goes to church dressed elegantly with her son Fonny and her two daughters. The way she dresses allows her to catch others attention by standing out. An even stronger way of catching others attention would be where she sits at in the church. She sits in a mercy seat towards the front of the church in front of the congregation.

This seat was chosen by her because no matter what, everyone in the church would have to look her way so she would always be in the view of others. This superiority that she carried within herself came from being a light skinned black women. If it were during slavery, she would have been a housemaid instead of a field worker because she was light, not dark. In a scene from the book, Mrs. Hunt and another lady of a darker shade go back and forth singing and dancing. Saying “What assurance in my soul” (Mrs. Hunt) — “Oh the stormy sea” (Dark Sister) — “Jesus speaks to me” (Mrs. Hunt) — “And the illows cease to roll” (Dark Sister) Baldwin 25.

This scene in the book can be taken as Mrs. Hunt not letting the lady of darker shade take up to much spotlight and Mrs. Hunt interrupting because of the different shades of black. (Light and dark) Since she has this mindset of superiority, she felt as though she should be the one being concentrated on more than the dark skin lady she was going back and forth with. Later, we find out that Mrs. Hunt lives an unbalanced life. Mrs. Hunt considers herself to be a saved women. She is married to Mr. Hunt, who lives a different lifestyle than what she lives.

Mr. Hunt, also known as Frank, is the owner of a tailor shop that is located in the neighborhood. The tailor shop seems to be the only store that stays open for business for long period of time compared to the others; according to Tish. Mr. Hunt is not much of a religious person as Mrs. Hunt is. When they made love it was as if he was mimicking everything that had to do with her religious beliefs. Asking her where she wanted the lord to touch her, also saying that he was going to bring the lord to her while they had sex. “You got the lord now, right here. Where you want your blessing? Where do it hurt?

Where you wants the lord’s hands to touch you? Where you want his tongue? Where you want the lord to enter you, you dirty, dumb black bitch? ” Baldwin 17. During the whole time she was crying and praying that the lord will forgive her of her burdens and somehow for the lord to find his way into her husband, Frank. Within this moment, Mrs. Hunt’s imbalance begins to take place. Finally, Mrs. Hunt’s arrogance is a way for her to covers up her home situation. Mrs. Hunt finds out that Fonny is having a baby with Tish and she reacts in the rudest way possible, saying “|| always knew that you would be the destruction of my son.

You have a demon inside of you — I always knew it. My God caused me to know it many a year ago. The Holy Ghost will cause that child to shrivel in your womb. But my son will be forgiven. My prayers will save him” Baldwin 68. This quote shows a lot of arrogance coming from Mrs. Hunt who lives a religious life, married to a man that lives a mysterious one. She says these ignorant things to Tish being hypocritical to herself, knowing that she herself lives an unbalanced life but not wanting to admit it to herself.

Mrs. Hunt is a very contradicting person, being a church women while still being rude and arrogant. In some ways in the book she uses the name of the lord in vain. Saying that the lord will shrivel the baby in her womb. As a church women, one would think she would have some type of respect but in this case it’s clear that she doesn’t. She becomes a clear example throughout the book that, arrogance can blind a person to their actions. Mrs. Hunt demonstrates the facade many people will have when encountering numerous issues in their lives and the lengths they will go to in order to keep their “well rounded image”.

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