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Black Boy

Essay by 24  •  December 2, 2010  •  811 Words (4 Pages)  •  800 Views

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Black Boy

Taking away another person's rights to freedom and happiness is injustice. Injustice is purposely prohibiting a person from taking the opportunities necessary to live a better life. In his autobiography, Black Boy, Richard Wright describes the injustices he endured throughout his life as a african american. He struggles to achieve his dreams and succeed during a time of black oppression. He is put down by the white people that are intimidated by his eagerness to learn and succeed fearing that he could someday become smarter than them. Wright wins his reader's sympathy through his use of style, personification, and symbolism when describing the discrimination and hardships he faced everyday. He allows us to form our own opinions by laying out all the facts in front of his reader and allowing them to speak for themselves.

Wright's childhood was a very difficult one- his father abandoned his family, leaving his mother to raise Richard and his brother. More often than not, they would go hungry because his mother could not make enough money to keep their apartment and put food on the table. Richard begins to associate his hunger with images of his father, blaming him for the physical and emotional hunger that he felt. Richard's hunger is the most important symbol in the novel because it is not only physical, but it is also a hunger for the father figure that he lost and a hunger for love and acceptance. Wright is helping the reader relate with his feeling of abandonment by personifying his hunger as a grim hostile stranger, standing at his bedside, staring at him gauntily. He elicits sympathy from the reader for the poor five year old boy who just lost his father, is feeling unloved and unwanted, and who is scraping for food.

Wright's style of writing is very naturalistic. (A style of writing that emphasizes the effect of heredity and environment on human nature) He simply states the facts as if he was retelling a history and lets the reader form his own opinion. After his Uncle Hoskins is killed, Wright doesn't express any feelings about what happened. He simply tells the reader that they all feared for their lives and that they had to move. He uses repitition when he tells the reader "There was no funeral. There was no music. There was no period of morning. There were no flowers."(p.64) The tragic things that he has seen happen to black people throughout his life have left him numb, withdrawn, and very suspicious of white people.

Wright is faced with many injustices in his life because of his eagerness to educate himself. His refusal to accept a life as a white man's lackey gets him is trouble at home and at work. At home, Granny disapproves of

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