Throughout Black Boy we see Richard Wright’s hunger for many different things in his life. Within the entire story, he lives his life very hungry, in the literal sense, because he is a poor black boy growing up in the South, which makes him have to go out and work for money. Wright goes on and tells us that he has the hunger for knowledge and to keep on learning more to become the better person that he knows he is capable of being. Hunger plays one of the biggest roles in Richard’s life to form his cultural identity and it separates him from other Southern blacks because he has a deep drive to go somewhere.
Literal hunger plays an important role in the story because it helps his determination of success become larger and larger. We see him talk about hunger, literally, more in the beginning of the story because that is when he is a young boy and he complains a lot more than when he is a teenager out of school. In a scene when he is living with his aunt and uncle he tells us, “I was afraid that somehow the biscuits might disappear during the night, while I was sleeping. I did not want to wake up in the morning, as I had so often in the past, feeling hungry and knowing that there was no food in the house. So, surreptitiously, I took some of the biscuits from the platter and slipped them into my pocket, not to eat, but to keep as bulwark against any possible attack of hunger” (Wright 50). Before living at his aunt and uncle’s house he grows up having very little to no food at all when he is hungry, so he does not know what to expect when he starts living in a different house. I definitely feel sorry for him here because he has to be sneaky and take the bread because he is scared that he would not have anything to eat in the morning. When one is young, food is a necessity for one’s body because you are growing so quickly. I think Richard’s hunger for food definitely contributes to his wanting to work because he knows that if he works, he would get money,...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document