Course Hero Logo

Go Tell It on the Mountain | Study Guide

James Baldwin

Get the eBook on Amazon to study offline.

Buy on Amazon Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic


Course Hero. "Go Tell It on the Mountain Study Guide." Course Hero. 12 Jan. 2017. Web. 31 May 2023. <>.

In text

(Course Hero)



Course Hero. (2017, January 12). Go Tell It on the Mountain Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved May 31, 2023, from

In text

(Course Hero, 2017)



Course Hero. "Go Tell It on the Mountain Study Guide." January 12, 2017. Accessed May 31, 2023.


Course Hero, "Go Tell It on the Mountain Study Guide," January 12, 2017, accessed May 31, 2023,

Go Tell It on the Mountain | Infographic

Share Embed
Click to copy code

Check out this Infographic to learn more about James Baldwin's Go Tell It on the Mountain. Study visually with character maps, plot summaries, helpful context, and more.

go-tell-it-on-the-mountain-james-baldwinChurchRepresents community, safety, and salvationHymnsIllustrate communion with God, community, and heritageCity StreetsSymbolize danger, oppression, and temptationMain CharactersRachelJohns grandmother; tries to keep her last two children togetherFlorenceJohns aunt; resents her mothers favoritism toward GabrielGabrielDeacon and Johns father; punishes family to relieve his guiltElizabethJohns mother; tries to absolve her past by caring for her familyGo Tell It on the Mountainby the NumbersDays Baldwin spent in a Paris jail for unknowingly using a bedsheet stolen by an acquaintance8Characters in the novel whose names are Biblical allusions: Bathsheba, Deborah, Elisha, Elizabeth, Esther, Gabriel, John, Rachel, Sarah9Age at which Baldwin became a minister in his Harlem church14RoyJohns wild younger brother; favored by GabrielElishaJohns role model; inspires Johns conversionJohnElizabeths oldest; wants salvation and Gabriels loveThemesRace & FamilyLife is harsh for a black family in a white-dominated society, and kinship doesn’t guarantee acceptance. SpiritualityReligion is a source of comfort and oppression for John and his family.SexualityLove and desire provide human connection—but also the guilt of sin.HOLYBIBLESister McCandless, Part One ou is in the Word or you aintain’t no halfway with God.Baldwins early years in New York City inspired the semi-autobiographical Go Tell It on the Mountain, the first of many publications that included essays, novels, and plays. After living in Paris for a few years, Baldwin returned to the United States in 1957 and became a civil rights advocate.AuthorJAMES BALDWIN1924–87On the cusp of his 14th birthday, John Grimes struggles with daily life in 1930s Harlem. His desire to please his family and fulfill his duties in his church are at odds with the temptations of the flesh—sexual and financial—the same temptations that challenged the generations before him.Body vs. SoulSYMBOLSJames Baldwin1953EnglishNovel AuthorYear PublishedOriginal LanguageGo Tell It on the MountainDramaSources: Encyclopaedia Britannica, James Baldwin: Collected Essays by James Baldwin Copyright © 2016 Course Hero, Inc.

Want to see more infographics? View All Infographics on Course Hero!

Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about Go Tell It on the Mountain? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!