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Big Black Good Man

By sherylady1 Dec 06, 2010 902 Words
Big Black good Man and Battle Royal

I believe Richard Wright's story "Big Black Good Man" was written in a time when racial prejudice was a major factor in society. In Today’s society we still have racial prejudice, but it is not as strong as back then. The point in which Richard Wright wanted to get by writing this story is that people should "never judge others by their race”. In the story, Olaf mentioned Jim was not the first black man he serviced, but he started to make drama of Jim’s behaviors in his head. I think Olaf was the type of person who is ignoring that he is a racist but he actually is one. This was the most important point that Richard Wright was trying to make. This story is focusing more on characters. There were two characters, which responded very differently to the black man. Olaf, whom was working in a hotel for guest services, has an average life, average job and also average thinking. Based on the story Olaf is a type of man that is happy with his life and lifestyle and respects others the way they are. Although, as soon as it comes to big black man who enters the hotel every thing about him suddenly changes, some unexpected fear surrounds him. However, every day of Jims stays in the hotel Olaf would gain more fears of a big black man. In his mind, Jim is a big, black, loud and violent man that wants to kill him. On the other hand, Lena responded very differently to the black man. Based on the story, Lena was poor and wiling to do anything such as prostituting to earn money, in order to take care of her four children. Even at the arguments she had with Olaf, she mentioned that he is just another man with manly needs “He’s just a man…I handle ‘im.” She was seeing his as an ordinary man who had good money and wants her; of course it was no fear of him to her conflicting than Olaf. She was called to Jim’s room every night and she was willing to continue. I believe she wouldn’t care if he is black or if he is big, all that matters was the reality of Jim as a man who has money to lead her for taking care of her children. They also ended up liking each other, and started dating and at the end of the story Jim was thankful to Olaf as well. Lena stopped prostituting and making love with Jim; she must have seen him as a good man so she was willing to drop her income. On the other hand, when the story ends Olaf realized Jim was not a violent and harsh man he actually is a big black good man.

In addition, when it comes to comparing we can compare “Big Black good Man” by Richard and “Battle Royal” by Ralph Ellison. The point in which both narrators wanted to make was the fact of differences in race and struggling of being different. “Battle Royal” is about young African American who is 
struggling to have a place in their society. It was kind of hard for people back then to deal with this situation and it was also hard for black people to get into white society. It was all about equality and identity, which they did not have, back then. However, this story was written in 1947, black society in the U.S. was struggling to find an identity for itself separate from the unfair force accrued by a white culture. Ellison uses the theme of blindness throughout the story as he describes the relations between the narrator and the characters in the story. The paper describes the story, beginning with a strange type of the death of the narrator's grandfather and the advice he gave him about life and how to behave as a black man. Grandfather’s advice leads the whole story making narrator to fallow his advice and using it trough his life. In the story, young black boy struggle to get ahead in a predominately white society, he wanted to reach this goal in using his grandfathers advice. His grandfather told him to “live with your head in the lion’s mouth. I want you to overcome ‘em with yeses, undermine ‘em with grins, agree ‘em to death and destruction, let ‘em swoller you till they vomit or bust wide open”. I believe his grandfather was trying to tell him to conform to the white people. The whole story shows his struggle and hardships his taking to reach his goal by fallowing grandpa’s advice. At the end of the story he also gives out a successful speech of this advice at his graduation.

In conclusion, throughout time racism has been the cause of millions of deaths. In early centires racial prejudice was a major factor in society, now we see less racial prejudice. So many people still struggling because of racist people and some people are hiding their racisom. In both stories authors are trying to tell audiences stop judging people by their look, color and culture, there is absolutely no different between white and black it’s just a color. Human is a human and life goes on with all differences in people.

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