The Many Hungers in Black Boy
We often find ourselves thinking “Man I am so hungry!” after going without eating for just a few hours. If you really think about it we only go without eating for small periods of time. Have we ever really experienced hunger? Real hunger for that matter, hunger like Richard faces in Black Boy. The kind of hunger he experiences are not evident in a society in which we live. Hunger for us is skipping a meal or not finding anything that will please our appetite. This is not even comparable to the days that Richard endures without eating any food.
There is not only physical hunger present in the novel Black Boy, Richard suffers from educational and emotional hunger. Richard longs for conversation and love from others and books to read or some sort of education. Most people often take these for granted but it is the only thing that Richard desires. The hunger in the novel Black Boy by Richard Wright serves as a magnet that pulls us through the story of Richard’s emotional, physical, and intellectual hunger.
Richard is faced at a very early age and for most of his life with experiences of physical hunger, starvation. "Hunger stole upon me slowly that at first I was not aware of what hunger really meant. Hunger had always been more or less at my elbow when I played, but now I began to wake up at night to find hunger standing at my bedside, staring at me gauntly" (16). Richard seemed to starve quite often but after his father left he seemed to have constant starvation. Starvation seems to happen a good deal throughout Richard’s life. The type of hunger Richard describes seems to be very painful, a kind of pain that one can’t even imagine. "Once again I knew hunger, biting hunger, hunger that made my body aimlessly restless, hunger that kept me on edge, that made my temper flare, that made my temper flare, hunger that made hate leap out of my heart like the dart of a serpent's tongue, hunger that created in me odd...
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