In The Rock Pile By James Baldwin Analysis

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In the Rock Pile by James Baldwin, John and Gabriel are separated from the basic neighborhood fun because of their father’s authoritarian demanding parenting: “He stood in the center of the room… The child stared at the man in fascination.” While the mother Elizabeth seems to be more interested in her kids becoming socially exposed than her husband Gabriel; throughout the story it is clear the boys have a glaring lack of social exposure due to the father. The narrator describes the boys as, “Each Saturday morning John and Roy sat on the fire escape and watched the forbidden street below… until he came to end their freedom” The quote portrays the father as a warden and equates him to a slaveholder of sort as he is accused of, “end[ing] their freedom.” Furthermore, John and Gabriel describe commonplaces with an air of…show more content…
The conflict in the story occurs both because of the pent up curiosity of Roy and due to the mom’s juxtaposition to the father in parenting style: The mother is defined as the more caring of the two parents and is more open-minded because of, “[her past] days in sin.” This open-mindedness allows for the Roy to sneak away because he knows if he leaves and is back in time she won’t really care. However it is clear the curiosity built up from not be able to go causes Roy to leave because he’s interested in the Rock Pile the narrator describes as, “the rock pile, moreover, with such mysterious importance that Roy felt it to be his right, not to say his duty, to play there. Overall the quotes highlight the father’s inability to let his step-son and biological son to see the world. This failure ultimately causes Roy to want to go to the Rock Pile and is the reason why he almost gets his eye taken

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