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Transcript of The Rockpile
By: James Baldwin
By: Alastair, Hank, Daniel, David
Symbols and Themes
Born August 2, 1924
Died December 1, 1987
Never knew real dad
Step-Father was a baptist minister
14-16 he served as a youth minister
He was open about his relationships with men and women
Roy- Elizabeth and Gabriel son
John- Elizabeth elder illegitimate son
Delilah- Gabriel and Elizabeth daughter
Paul- Elizabeth and Gabriel son
Violence in Harlem
John and Roy watch kids play on the rockpile, and they are forbidden to play on the rockpile. Roy breaks the rule and goes down to play on the rockpile with his friends. Roy tells John not to tell on him. On the rockpile Roy gets into a fight and gets hurt. When The father comes home he blames John for letting Roy go down and not stopping him.
The rock pile (Carefree youth)
Relationship with Step-Father
Step-Father was a preacher
Treated James harsher than his other siblings
Similar to how Gabriel treats John
The Questioning of Christianity:
Father, Gabriel, is a threatening character despite the fact that he is a priest
The story is an allegory symbolizing the violence in Harlem at the time.
Plot explores uncertainty of John during his decision making regarding his brothers actions
"When he looked up again he did not know how much time had passed, but now there was a gang fight on the rockpile. Dozens of boys fought each other in the harsh sun: climbing up the rocks and battling hand to hand, scuffed shoes sliding on the slippery rock; filling the bright air with curses and jubilant cries."
Pg 503 Baldwin