Literature Study GuidesThe Fire Next Time

The Fire Next Time | Study Guide

James Baldwin

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Course Hero. "The Fire Next Time Study Guide." Course Hero. 4 Feb. 2019. Web. 23 Feb. 2019. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Fire-Next-Time/>.

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APA

Bibliography

Course Hero. (2019, February 4). The Fire Next Time Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved February 23, 2019, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Fire-Next-Time/

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(Course Hero, 2019)

Chicago

Bibliography

Course Hero. "The Fire Next Time Study Guide." February 4, 2019. Accessed February 23, 2019. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Fire-Next-Time/.

Footnote

Course Hero, "The Fire Next Time Study Guide," February 4, 2019, accessed February 23, 2019, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Fire-Next-Time/.

Overview

Author

James Baldwin

Year Published

1963

Type

Nonfiction

Genre

Argument, Nonfiction

Perspective and Narrator

The Fire Next Time consists of two first-person essays narrated by the author, James Baldwin.

Tense

The Fire Next Time is written in both the past and present tenses. Baldwin uses the past tense when recounting specific events, such as his meeting with the African American Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad (1897–1975). He switches to the present tense when writing about the current—and future—state of race relations in the United States.

About the Title

"The Fire Next Time" comes from an African American spiritual called "Mary, Don't You Weep:" God gave Noah the rainbow sign, / No more water, the fire next time. As he ends the second essay, Baldwin quotes the song to warn readers in very strong terms that if race relations don't improve, their world will be (metaphorically) set ablaze.

Summary

This study guide for James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time offers summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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