Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
English, Linguistics, and Communication
Department Chair or Program Director
Major or Concentration
In Go Tell It on the Mountain, race and adolescence influence each other in unique ways within the character of Gabriel. When Gabriel attempts to make a firm distinction between adolescence and adulthood in order to differentiate his righteous self from his sinful self, he characterizes sin as regression back into adolescence, which he then begins to fear. While the concept of queer temporality can be used to analyze Gabriel’s fear of regression, this explanation fails to include how Gabriel’s Blackness complicates his positioning. To connect adolescence with race, this paper reads Halberstam’s In a Queer Time and Place alongside Bhabha’s Location of Culture in order to analyze Gabriel as inhabiting a Third Space between adolescent and adult. Through Gabriel, Baldwin continues a larger conversation on the ways self-awareness is capable of breaking destructive cycles of fear.
Gautsch, Hannah, "Constructions of Adolescence in James Baldwin's Go Tell It on the Mountain" (2018). Student Research Submissions. 276.