James Baldwin, the author of Paterson, and the film Paterson

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Sophomore (College 2nd year) ・English ・MLA ・3 Sources

It has long been assumed that a film has a villain and an antagonist. In certain times, the former and the latter do not share mutual desires, thoughts, goals, or feelings. Such a wide range of disagreements often leads to tensions that must be settled in a variety of ways. This paper investigates whether or not “Paterson Movie” by Jarmusch (2016) and “The Fire Next Time” by Baldwin (1963) represent those ideas.
Paterson Movie, as implied by the scenes, is straightforward and exemplifies the lives of everyday people who live a comfortable daily life in the narrative. The couple Paterson and Laura is a happy family characterized by understanding and support (56:60). Contrary to the perception that every movie does have a protagonist and antagonist, the movie only has antagonists. The couple despite having different opinions, interests and motivations in life, supports each other regardless. In particular, Paterson is a poet who loves to observe people’s behaviors while he takes on his routine driving career. Similarly, Laura is a talented and enthusiastic actress who dreams of fame (70:90). From such a perspective, Jarmusch intention is to inform the audience that despite the life challenges, it is possible to live a happy normal life.
Nonetheless, the couple is isolated from the society and prefers a reserved lifestyle. They have no real friends are not interested in having communication tools such as computers, television, and mobile phones. This means that they are cut from listening to influential sources and news that would otherwise interfere with their peaceful life. Concisely, it is imperative to note that the environment influences people’s perception of life and deciding not to listen to negative information can lead to having a peaceful life.
Comparatively, the James Baldwin essay “The Fire Next Time” is a lucid portrayal of the notion of protagonist-antagonist relations in a narrative. In the story, Baldwin is perceived as the protagonist whiles the whites otherwise the countrymen as Baldwin refers to them are the antagonists. Through the advice that the author offers unto his nephew, it can be deduced that there existed an inter-family conflict between Baldwin and his Father (Rosset, 54). Baldwin’s father was for the contrary opinion that the whites were right and that his son Baldwin was wrong. It is this idea that the author in form of pieces of advice warns his nephew note to buy.
Baldwin is the main protagonist who is fighting for his freedom. He does not find justification for why it has been conceived that the whites have more rights than the Negroes as well as the rationale for their control over the African- Americans. The author does not agree with the notion that the Black- Americans are worthless people. While fighting for his race’s freedom, his intention is to inform his nephew against the contrived ideas that they are not inferior to the whites. “Please try to remember that what they believe, as well as what they do and cause you to endure does not testify to your inferiority but to their inhumanity” (Baldwin, 44). Therefore it is high time that the countrymen realized the injustices they have inflicted on the Blacks as far as history can recall.
Finally, the author proposes a mechanism through which the conflict can be resolved. In particular, Baldwin explains that it is only through integration that inequality structures that exist within the United States can be changed to ensure that Blacks relate well with the whites and white develop the ability to see “themselves as they are,” (Rosset,78).

Work Cited

Baldwin, James. The Fire Next Time. , 1993. New York : Vintage International.pdf.
Rosset, Lisa. James Baldwin. Los Angeles, Calif: Melrose Square Pub. Co, 1990. Print.
Jarmusch, Jim. Paterson Movie. (2016). Retrieved on 15/12/2017 form https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNLM0oYoFZE

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