An African American man undergoes many experiences and ideas through the several different jobs that he has. The narrator is a man, whose name is never mentioned throughout the story, who is employed in several occupations throughout his life. At each job, he learns something new about his race and the American race, whether it is something good or something bad. This short story, written by Richard Wright, is a very complex story to read, but from what I understood through his words, it actually kept me interested.
The narrator's first job was working as a porter for a man named, Mr. Hoffman. During the time he was working here, he always thought that Mr. Hoffman and his wife performed in a manner to disintegrate him and that they were just out to destroy him. One day, he came to a conclusion and realization that, he had "grossly misread the motives and attitudes of Mr. Hoffman and his wife" (888). He apprehended that they did indeed care about him keeping his job even after he had not shown up for three days. He knew that any other white owner would have told him to go somewhere else to work. After an embarrassing lie, he told the owner, he finally quit his job and searched for a new job as a dishwasher.
Wright combines argument and narration throughout this short story and he speaks about self-hatred that blacks have. This was a touching part of the story because it shows how someone can hate you passionately. Then you realize how much so many people hate you and treat you so badly that you begin to hate your own self. The narrator has a dream, "like any other American of going into business and making money" (889) he knows that this dream is impossible with so many white people that would do anything to keep a black person from living a dream or seeing them happy.
The next job he is employed at is as a dishwasher. At this job, he was the only black person working there. The waitresses "were relatively free of the heritage...