I believe that Black Boy is a representative of realism and naturalism. I say this because both terms touches on not only the poor conditions of the south and the terrible way that whites treated the blacks but also on how Negros had to not only sacrifice themselves but also other Negros just to try and make a decent living this was not only in the south but in the north as well.
The literary definition for Realism is “the attitude or practice of accepting a situation as it is and being prepared to deal with it accordingly.” On the other hand the literary definition of naturalism I found means “to suggest that social conditions, heredity and environment have inescapable forces in shaping human character. Now that we know the definition of the two terms I will start my argument off with realism.
In black boy Wright talks about all of the many obstacles he had to overcome in the mists of trying to become a successful writer. The fact that Wright couldn’t read or write didn’t make his situation any better. Wright states, “There was a huge library near the river front but I know that Negros were not allowed to patronize its shelves any more than they were the parks and play grounds of the city.”(1471) Wright wanted to learn how to read and because he couldn’t just walk into the library and get books Wright talked his Irish catholic co-worker into using his library card which worked out fine being that the whites didn’t like him and he didn’t care for them either. Being black in the south you were restricted from doing a lot of things especially if the whites felt that you were trying to condition yourself to be better than them. Black had a very small window to do what they wanted. Another statement Wright makes is “I now Knew What being a Negro meant.”(1475) Wright goes on to say “I have endured the hunger.”(1475) I have learned to live with hate.”(1475) Wright learned to deal with these things without even realizing that he was...
Cited: Norton Anthology of African American Literature/ Richard Wright Black Boy The Norton Anthology Of African American Literature,, Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Nellie Y. McKay, General Editor, Second Edition
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