Chester himes if he hollers let him go sparknotes
Blind Man with a Pistol (Harlem Cycle, #8) by Chester HimesAt once grotesquely comic and unflinchingly violent, Blind Man With a Pistol is the final entry in Chester Himess trailblazing Harlem Detectives series.
New York is sweltering in the summer heat, and Harlem is close to the boiling point. To Coffin Ed Johnson and Grave Digger Jones, at times it seems as if the whole world has gone mad. Trying, as always, to keep some kind of peace—their legendary nickel-plated Colts very much in evidence—Coffin Ed and Grave Digger find themselves pursuing two completely different cases through a maze of knifings, beatings, and riots that threaten to tear Harlem apart.
If He Hollers Let Him Go Background
Written in the s, this novel fictionalizes the experience of being black in America at a specific time in the country's history - the early days of its involvement in World War II. The experience of being at war nationally is mirrored on a smaller scale in the struggle of the book's central character, Robert Jones, as he attempts to wage a personal war against racism. Other themes explored by the narrative include the nature of freedom and, on both a literal and metaphorical level, the tension between darkness and lightness. As the novel begins, Robert Jones recalls a series of dreams that caused him to wake in fear and foreboding, feelings that, as he reveals in narration, he wakes with more often than not these days. His fears, he writes, include fear of the war and of being forced into the army, fear of the racism around him, fear of being unable to realize his ambition of simply being a man.
Related content in Oxford Reference
These notes were contributed by members of the GradeSaver community. Published in , If He Hollers Let Him Go is the first novel published by Chester Himes and the launch of a career spent examining the corrosive effects of racism. The novel came about as a result heeding advice to head to Hollywood in search of success writing movies only to wind up working factory jobs dedicated to helping the war effort while also publishing short stories. Those short stories snagged Himes a Rosenwald Fellowship in to provide him with the opportunity to pursue the completion of a novel. California plays a role in the fictional world of Robert Jones as well, primarily through the revelation that racist suspicions that all black men want to rape white women was not limited to the openly prejudiced denizen of the American southeast. In addition, the novels offers insight gained from the real life interests of its author of the often overlooked connection between the American Communist Party and disenfranchised blacks. Communist activism and the threat that could arise from being associated with that activism is pervasive throughout the novel.