Study Guide

Northern Men in Go Tell It on the Mountain

By James Baldwin

Northern Men

For both Florence and Elizabeth, moving north means L-O-V-E. Frank, Florence's husband, turns out to be a true disappointment. He wastes all their money and finally leaves her before he dies in France in World War I. To add insult to injury, he leaves his benefits to his new girlfriend, not to Florence.

Richard, on the other hand, starts out in the south and lures Elizabeth north. He's full of anger, having been an orphan whom no one loved, and when he is wrongly imprisoned and beaten by the police for a crime he didn't commit, he seems to lose hope in any future he might have and kills himself before finding out that he's going to be a father.