Race and Violence in Chester Himes’ If He Hollers Let Him Go

  • Sivasankari R Ph.D Scholar (part-time) & Assistant professor of English, Sri Vidya Mandir Arts & Science College, Uthangarai, Tamil Nadu, India.
Keywords: Conflicts, Discrimination, Violence, Race, Sufferings, Black, White


This paper deals about the problems faced by the black peoples in Chester Himes’ novel If He Hollers let Him Go. Through the main character Bob Jones, Himes has shown the different types of sufferings suffered by the black people during 1940s in Los Angles. Sufferings such as, race, gender discrimination, rape and violence are known clearly to everyone who has read such novels. But here, Himes has shown the inner conflicts of the black people in this novel. Jones is the hero. He suffers daily mainly because of his inner feelings. In the opening chapter itself, one can see his fearness of being black. Even in dream, he gets afraid to face white. The feeling what the white will think about him as a black itself is a fear to him. He suffered because a white waiter refused to serve him. He suffered because he is put into jail for not doing anything. Though he didn’t do any crime, a white woman gave a false report on him and he was arrested. The entire novel shows his sufferings to come up in white society and his survival to lead his life. This paper shows Jones’ sufferings in the world of whites.