Title Profile & Character Information

Go Tell It on the Mountain

Annotation
"Mountain," Baldwin said, "is the book I had to write if I was ever going to write anything else." Go Tell It On The Mountain, first published in 1953, is Baldwin's first major work, a novel that has established itself as an American classic. With lyrical precision, psychological directness, resonating symbolic power, and a rage that is at once unrelenting and compassionate, Baldwin chronicles a fourteen-year-old boy's discovery of the terms of his identity as the stepson of the minister of a storefront Pentecostal church in Harlem one Saturday in March of 1935. Baldwin's rendering of his protagonist's spiritual, sexual, and moral struggle of self-invention opened new possibilities in the American language and in the way Americans understand themselves.

Characters
NameGrimes, John
GenderMale
OccupationStudent
TraitAfrican American

NameGabriel
GenderMale
OccupationMinister
TraitsRemarried
Stepfather
African American
Abusive

NameElizabeth
GenderFemale
TraitsMarried
Mother
African American

NameRoy
GenderMale
OccupationStudent
TraitAfrican American

NameFlorence
GenderFemale
TraitsAfrican American
Widow

GenreFiction
Domestic
Classic
Religious
TopicsAfrican Americans
African American families
Spiritual awakening
Great Depression
Stepfamilies
Visions
Resentment
Family relationships
Ministers
Identity
Redemption
Abusive relationships
Infidelity
Love affairs
SettingNew York