The Making of the Writer, Richard Wright. Black Boy

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The making of the writer, Richard Wright

In Richard Wright´s autobiography Black Boy Wright describes his life from a very young boy to his early twenties. He gives us a good perspective on what it is like to be a black person in the 1920´s. But not only that, he gives us a very good perspective on what it is like to be an individual. How did Wright become a writer? What events in this book described why Wright became a writer? Wright discovers the power of words at a young age and is a rebellious little kid. He kills a cat over one of his father´s careless comments, “Kill that damn thing”, “Do anything, but get it away from here”. He gets drunk in a bar and starts whispering words he does not know to some of the women in the bar, “..for a penny or nickel, I would repeat to anyone whatever was whispered to me”. He writes bad words he learns from his classmates on almost all the windows in the neighborhood without knowing what they mean. And when his grandma is cleaning his ass he says to her, “When you get through, kiss back there”. When Wright gets new words and expressions he uses them before knowing what they mean. It is like you could give him a detonator to a bomb and he would push the button before asking what the button was for. But after all the punishment he gets for all the events he learns little by little that he need to think before speaking. It is not only from his family that he learns that, it is mostly strangers. Like when he was out on delivery for the clothing store and his bike brakes. Some white folks offer him a ride back to town, Wright says yes. When they offer him a drink he says “Oh, no”. He gets a whiskey bottle smashed between his eyes. The white man says “Nigger, ain´t you learned no better sense´n that yet”.”Ain´t you learned to say sir to a white man yet”. Wright realizes little by little that words are “weapons” and you get punished if you “shoot” the wrong person.

Wright learns the power of words the tough way with beating...
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