H.P. English, Per. 1
Black Boy by Richard Wright is a memoir that portrays his struggles to live in the wretched Jim Crow south. Throughout the book we see Richard struggle to find his purpose in life and watch him shut the world off from others. Richard portrays that isolating one from society allows them not conform. Richard’s childhood played a major part towards his perspective on life. While growing up in the racist south, he had no father figure or role model to look up to. From his mother working two or more jobs a day, she had no time to spend with her children and she had to teach Richard how to fend for himself. While giving Richard money to spend at the grocery store, Richard ran into a gang of boys. The boys then robbed him and sent him home with a black eye, but Richard’s mother did not comfort him. As he cried to his mother pleading her not to let him go back she says, “I’m going to teach you this night to stand up and fight for yourself”(17). Richard was baffled to hear that coming out of his own mother’s mouth, telling him to fight, a thing she had never done before. One would think that a mother would comfort their child, but she did not. Richard’s mother made him see that life is never going to be easy, he was going to have take situations into his own hands from now own, allowing him to gain independence. Thus because Richard had to stand up for himself without help at a very early age he gained confidence. Because Richard did not conform to society, he has his own perspective on life. When his mother falls ill with paralysis his whole world falls apart, growing this morbid outlook towards life. Her paralytic state set the emotional spirit for his life, his mothers suffering was engraved into his mind. Richard was trying to escape an unsung destiny searching to overshadow him. This would now make him look at everything with a contradicting mind set. He says, “I had a conception of life...
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