man who killed

Topics: Black people, White people, African American Pages: 3 (1219 words) Published: April 28, 2014
Who are you going to believe me, or your lying eyes?'" claims Richard Pryor in Henry Louis Gates' Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Man (247). This statement emphasizes the difficulties of "double-consciousness" in American society today (Du Bois 615). The image of self is a complex mix of the way in which individuals evaluate themselves and the views that society maintains for each person. This confusing "double-consciousness" forces individuals to decide which perspective is correct, their own self-evaluation or the perception of society's blind eye. Many black American writers confront this problem through literary works that analyze double-consciousness and chart its progression and effects on individuals. First, they create a metaphor to explain the existence of a boundary between the social and personal views of an individual. Secondly, they describe the effects that this double-consciousness has on characters. Finally, authors propose ways to reconcile individuals' "warring ideals" (Du Bois 3). One example of this analysis of double-consciousness occurs in Richard Wright's The Man Who Killed a Shadow, where the character of Saul Sanders is used to symbolize the effects of "second-sight" on an individual (Du Bois 615). Metaphors are commonly used by writers to explain the reality of double-consciousness. One such method is the image of a "veil," or a boundary between the white world and the black existence (Du Bois 614). Du Bois describes this "vast veil" as able to "shut out" the black man from the white "world," while simultaneously isolating him from everything "beyond" that boundary (614). In The Man Who Killed a Shadow, Saul's sight is obstructed by this veil; thus, he perceives everyone around him as "shadows" of their real identities (Wright 185). Even his parents are distorted by the veil. His mother is a "vague, shadowy thing," while his father dies before he can "retain a clear picture of him in his mind" (Wright 186). He even declares that...
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