The Man Who Was Almost a Man

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The Definition of a Man
When a boy is being raised from a baby to a man he is taught to be the strongest he can be. In most situations, every little boy wants to be the biggest and the best at what ever he does. One question for every child is “what is the child ready for?” and “when is the child ready for it?” In Richard Wright’s, “The Man who was Almost a Man”, a young boy yearns to be a man. The child has certain responsibilities, but the young boy is ready to take on more than he can handle.

Dave, a young black child desperately wants a gun. The local shop owner believes that Dave is ready to be considered a man, not a boy. The young boy is 17 years old and is working full time over the summer, to him he is doing the same as all the other adults. Dave, however, is far from a man. In order for Dave to buy the gun he has to ask permission as Dave’s wages go directly to his mother to be put away. Dave is denied permission from his mother to buy the gun so he begins to beg. After becoming nothing but a nuisance his mother finally gives in, on the condition that the gun is for his father. One must ask, is begging the behavior of a real man? The answer is no. This shows how Dave is not as mature as he portrays to be. Within hours of having the gun Dave lies to his mother, another quality that would not be found in a real man. Dave is supposed to bring home the gun and give it to his mother, when his mother confronts Dave for the gun he lies and says he hid it out back and would bring it to her in the morning. All Dave wants to do is sleep with the gun so he can feel what a masculine difference it is. In the morning, Dave leaves extra early for work avoiding his mother. Dave does not want to give her the gun as he promised, another characteristic of being weak. Dave proceeds to go to work plowing fields where he is accompanied by a mule. At this point he has the gun on him, strapped to his leg. We ask ourselves why one would feel the need to carry around...
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