Maternal Love Versus Moral Options in Richard Wright’s ‘Bright and Morning star’ A Black Woman’s Choices in a Racist Society
The aim of this essay is to discuss the decision that the protagonist from Richard Wright’s ‘Bright and Morning star’, Aunt Sue, a black mother of two sons, has to make in order to chose between her sons’ life and the safety of the Communist members from her community. This story is, among others written by Richard Wright, a ‘dark portrayal of black Communist life’ and it analyses the inner struggle of Aunt Sue as a black woman and ‘mother of Communists’ (1). Wright’s short story follows the dilemma that Sue has to confront with herself during one rainy night, as a mother of Communist sons who were chased by the authorities. Her dilemma starts to grow from the beginning of the story, when she finds out that her son’s communist party was in danger to be discovered by the authorities: ’The sheriff wuz by our house tonight[…] He done got word from somewheres bout tha meetin tomorrow’(Wright 412). From that moment she was subjected to two different emotions, the fear that she might lose her son and the duty to the community to save the members of the party that her son had:’ She was feeling that Johnny-Boy was already lost to her; she was feeling the pain that would come when she knew it for certain, and she was feeling that she would have to be brave and bear it’, ‘[…] for her to try to stop Johnny-Boy was to admit that all the toil of years meant nothing; and to let him go meant that sometime or other he would be caught. In facing it this way she felt a little stunned, as though she had come suddenly upon a blank wall in the dark.’(Wright 412-413) In spite of Wright’s joining to Communism: ‘“I Tried to be a Communist’, and of his numerous writings about it, eventually his focus grew more on the development of an individual black consciousness than on advancing the causes of the Communist party as in the case of his two stories ‘Fire and...
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