Big Black Good Man

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Big Black Good Man Literary Response
The fiction story Big black Good Man written by Richard Wright depicts the meeting of an older man named Olaf Jenson and a young sailor named Jim at a motel lobby by the sea port on an August night in Copenhagen. Olaf, once a sailor himself is now a soon-to-be sixty year old middle class motel concierge. One night, while Olaf is attending to his duties at the front as he does every night Jim comes in seeking a room. Olaf, as mentioned before is a former sailor and has been to many different ports all around the world and has seen all kinds of people, however he is taken aback by Jim’s appearance. Jim is a black man, who is 6 feet tall with a very dark skin tone and a loud booming voice. When he enters he asks if there are any vacancies and Olaf hesitates to give him the true answer, however he has claimed to have never been racially motivated to deny any person a room. Following their first encounter a series of events leads to the arousal of the question; is Olaf Jenson a racist? The answer; Yes. Olaf Jensen is a racist because for 6 days, he refused to refer to Jim by his first name; he fantasized about Jim’s death without warrant and in the end, even upon getting to know Jim, was unable to get past the color of his skin. Upon meeting Jim, Olaf could not help but take note his appearance. Olaf drew many assumptions about Jim; “too black, too loud, too direct and probably too violent to boot. “ Olaf thought. Olaf, standing at a mere five feet seven inches felt immediately threatened by Jim’s size, he had not wanted a man so large and threatening that close to him. In fact, Jim’s size both frightened and offended Olaf. He notices one particular thing about Jim and for a long period of time he harps on it. “…and its skin was so black that it had a blush tint” (209) Olaf recalls of jims appearance seemingly unable to understand how a human being can be of such skin color and he later draws the conclusion that Jim mustn’t be a...
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