In Richard Wright’s semi-fictional autobiographical novel Black Boy, Richard’s life is depicted in such a way that any reader can’t help but empathize with him. The details and intellectual words he uses to tell his life story hit the reader right in the heart, allowing him to gain the audience for himself and his purposes. Richard tells of many different events that happen all throughout his life, so it is hard, when asked, to choose just one that struck me the hardest when reading this gruesome life story. So, instead, I will highlight on some of Richard’s life startling events that stuck out to me the most.
The first that I remember is when Richard’s father was sleeping and there was a kitten on their back patio meowing. His father came outside and told the boys to get rid of the kitten. When they tried and the kitten wouldn’t bug, the boy’s father told him to kill it. Because of Richard’s harsh resentment towards his father, he purposely took his fathers orders literally by hanging the kitten from a tree and killing it. For a boy of Richard’s current age during the time of the murder to be committing an act of cruelty towards something as harmless as a kitten is repulsive. There is an underlying psycho-disorder brewing in Richard just directly from this event but also from all of the beatings he received.
Whether it was disrespect or pure stupidity that Richard committed, he received many a beating throughout the beginning years of his life, most of the time just so his elders could beat the respect into him since they seemed to think he lacked it so much. Now, yes, it understood that there was a different sense of respect back in those days, but for Richard to almost be beaten on a daily basis, that’s a little harsh. If that had happened in today’s society, his parents, grandmother, aunts and uncles would all be taken to jail for child abuse.
The last and probably most heart wrenching detail that came from Richard’s life was that he never knew where...
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