Reading the book, “Black Boy”, by Richard Wright matters to me because of some of the predicaments that he went through, I can relate to it. Richard Wright wrote this book to tell people the record of common abuse. He went through a lot of trials and tribulations. He struggled throughout his journey in the Jim crow south. Some of the ideas the author betrayed was discrimination. People probably would read this book because it is very interesting, somewhat funny and depressing all at the same time.
This book gives you a idea of what goes on in the south. Actually reading about this young boy go through different situations makes you think about what happened during the period of Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman and much more. Do you think that you will survive during this period of time? Seriously, I do not think I would be able to last 5 minutes. The way the Caucasian people treated the African-Americans was insane. Instead of counting them as people they thought of them as property.
Black Boy, by Richard Wright is a story about all of the obstacles he had to go through. An example of what I mean is in chapter one page four through seven. "My idea was growing, blooming. Now I was wondering just how the long fluffy white curtains would look if I lit a bunch of straws and held it under them.....Red circles was eating into the white cloth; then a flare of flames shot out....Smoke was choking me and the fire was licking at my face, making me gasp”. " This is a problem because he did something that he had no business doing. He knew that what he was doing is wrong because he ran and hid under the house so his mother would not beat him.
The character in Black Boy reminds me of a story in society. What’s happening is discrimination. People can treat a certain race different than others. It can make people feel uncomfortable and after a while retaliate. One person can take but so much. Sooner or later they will react to the situation in a positive or negative way. Either way it is still a reaction to a conflict. Another book of literature that reminds me of Black Boy is, “Blister”, by Susan Shreve. In this book a girl changed her name to Blister because she didn’t like her original name. She always felt isolated from all of the other kids because she was different. Both books relate to each other because the two main characters were eccentric in their own way.
This book is particularly preoccupied with the relationship between an individual and society. This is a very troublesome issue in our communities right now because people are still racist. Some people may treat people different if they are another race. This was an issue during Richard Wright’s adventure in the south where Caucasian people were superior to African-Americans.
To show that these issues are important in Black Boy, let’s take a look closely first at a selection from the middle of the book. Richard as to find a job to help his mother to make ends meet. As he confronts the Caucasian lady about him becoming employed she asks him a profound question, “Do you steal?” He says, “Steal”, and just because he says that she replied back saying,”There are No sassy niggers in my house”. He gasped and realized he said something wrong so he hung his head down and uttered “No Ma'am”. This is showing that Richard is noticing that he has to keep his job so that he able to buy his own things as well as help his mom. He definitely did not want to work under those conditions but for him it was mandatory. This is what African Americans had to go through in those days of discrimination. On page 126 there is one of these passages where Richard only focused on his job instead of his studies. His grandmother is telling him that he should rest instead of going to work. “But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ax, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that they manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou...” What Wright gives us here is a verse from the bible giving the grandmother backup for her opinion. So one thing this means to the reader is that the grandmother wanted him to rest so that's why she quoted a scripture so that he can understand her opinion better. The literary device used here is an antagonist, the character opposes the protagonist. This is a literary device because it shows how the grandmother, which is the antagonist, opposes Richard, which is the protagonist.
Thesis Question: What point is the author Richard Wright trying to portray? Why is it harder for African-American men than Caucasians? Why do we still hear about what happened in the past?
Richard interviews for a job working in the home of a white family, and his prospective employer asks him outright if he will steal from her. Richard laughs and tells the woman that if he were going to steal from her, he definitely would not tell her. The woman is angered but gives him the job anyway, which pays modestly but includes meals. Richard ends up disliking the job, however, because though the white family eats plentifully, the woman offers Richard only moldy food to eat. Moreover, when the woman asks Richard why he still bothers to attend school and he replies that he wants to be a writer, she rudely mocks him. He quits almost immediately.
In this scene Richard is shocked how the woman that gave him the job treats him. He gets angry as soon as she made fun of his future career plans. Take a look at this passage in chapter seven, During the summer before eighth grade, Richard works as a water boy and brick gatherer in the local brickyard. One afternoon the boss’s dog bites Richard, which worries him because he knows that several other workers have fallen ill after being bitten by the dog. Richard meets with the boss, but he does not take Richard seriously, claiming, “A dog bite can’t hurt a nigger.” Fortunately, though the wound gets inflamed, it heals on its own in a few days. This was something that the person should have kept to themselves. Many people are ignorant and selfish. His boss is very rude and not considerate of others, gladly Richard began to heal shortly after his boss’s negative remark.
In this scene Richard’s boss is totally aware of his dog bite. Richard is scared of getting severely ill because of that bite because his co workers were bitten as well. When they were bitten they became sick so he didn't want that to happen to them as well. This scene is important because this shows how Caucasian people treated African Americans back then. This gives you a primary source and a vision on how people treat their fellow peers.
During the summer before eighth grade, Richard works as a water boy and brick gatherer in the local brickyard. One afternoon the boss’s dog bites Richard, which worries him because he knows that several other workers have fallen ill after being bitten by the dog. Richard meets with the boss, but he does not take Richard seriously, claiming, “A dog bite can’t hurt a nigger.” Fortunately, though the wound gets inflamed, it heals on its own in a few days.Then we move into something called a characterization. The author uses characterization to show a description of the character.
Black Boy, by Richard Wright mainly describing the characters and how they live life. Richards life is interesting and full of determination. My point in sum, what I want you to take away from this, is all of his viloent encounters and bring forth all of his prosperities.