All throughout the short story “Bright and Morning Star” by Richard Wright, we are given descriptive details of Sue and Johnny Boy’s adventure; it is like actually being there with them. There are certain prevailing themes evident through the duration of the story, like race versus class, and religion versus faith; through these we can see the violence and terror that tear through Sue’s and Johnny Boy’s life and how they confront it.
From the start of the story, it is evident that Sue loves her family and even though her and her sons have different beliefs she would do anything to protect them. Sue is a Christian woman, and has been since she was a little girl living and working on a farm learning the songs and meaning of the Lord through her mom. Her sons, however, are not swayed by her religious ideals and instead turn to the Communist Party as their faith, “She had sought to fill their eyes with her vision, but they would have none of it. And she had wept when they began to boast of the strength shed by a new and terrible vision,” (814). If they had listened to their mom and stuck with Christianity instead of Communism then none of the violence and terror would have been upon them, Sug would not be in jail, Johnny Boy would not have been tortured to death, and Sue need not have watched her sons be imprisoned and tortured then be killed herself. Over time though her beliefs start to change and she sees her sons’ point of view, “The past and the present would become mixed in her; while toiling under a strange star for a new freedom the old songs would slip from her lips with their beguiling sweetness,” (814). She too wants equality and is proud of her sons for standing up for what they believe in, but is also afraid for them, especially Johnny Boy who is willing to die to protect the Party and its members.
During this time period, violence toward black people was common and terribly nasty especially in the South where lynching was common and often a group...
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