Symbolism In The Man Who Was Almost A Man

Good Essays
In the short story The Man Who Was Almost A Man, Dave Saunders is trapped in a world where he doesn’t have a lot of power. He works on a field where he never sees his pay because his mom hides it from him. In addition, he is forced to obey his parents. Throughout the short story, a symbol that is shown significantly is the gun. Dave thinks that if he has this gun, it will change him and make him immediately a grown man. What he doesn’t realize is the big responsibility that comes with having a gun. The gun is a significant symbol because it represents power and respect which is what Dave desperately wants.
A example that clearly demonstrates the gun representing power is when Dave is in the field and he is aiming the gun with his head turned
…show more content…
Throughout the novel, one thing Dave desperately craves is respect. He feels like everyone treats him like a little child. Like I said earlier, his mom hides his money so he has to ask her to use the money. The guys who work at the fields also treat him like a child. But the example I will talk about is when he asks his mom about the gun and she says no right away. Even though Dave brought home a catalogue, his mom said there is no way he is getting a gun. When Dave asks his mom if Hawkins gave her his money, she said,”Yeah but you ain't gonna throw it away.” This quote set that scene because when she said that, I knew that it would be hard for Dave to convince her about getting the gun from Hawkins. Later when Dave said that we need a gun, she said that if we did have a gun, you wouldn't have it. Throughout this whole scene at the house, Dave feels like there is no respect because his mom doesn’t really here what he is saying. She keeps saying to go away because she doesn’t want to hear him talk about a gun anymore. I think this is when he realizes that his mom won’t allow him to be a grownup man because she doesn’t really respect him. The craziest part is that Dave is not even allowed to get his money after he is working hard in the fields because his mom doesn’t want him to spend on stuff that is not necessary. This scene contributes to the meaning of the story because his mom treats him like a teen, not a man. She doesn’t allow him to get his money unless he asks which was probably normal back then. He doesn’t have a lot of freedom and he wants more respect. He thinks that getting a gun will gain in more respect from everyone but that is not the case. In conclusion, the gun represents respect because without the gun, Dave believes that he will not have respect from everyone but if he would get the gun, he will gain more respect because he has a dangerous

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Howard Engl-222 The Man Who Was Almost A Man Response The Man Who Was Almost A Man by Richard Wright is a coming of age story about 17 year old black field worker Dave Saunders. Dave longs to be a man. He wants to be free to run his own life instead of having to work for Mr. Hawkins and have his pay taken up by his parents. He wants to be regarded as an adult instead of being called a little boy everywhere he goes. Dave believes that having a gun will automatically make him the man he wants. Unfortunately…

    • 648 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    The Man Who Was Almost a Man Character Analysis In Richard Wright’s “The Man Who Was Almost a Man”, there is only one main character, Dave Saunders, and a handful of secondary characters. Dave Saunders is a seventeen year old, “long, loose-jointed limbed” African-American boy living in what seems like the South, either in Alabama or Louisiana, judging from the fact that the Illinois Central railroad runs through the area where he lives. Dave is struggling with growing up and is trying to achieve…

    • 2075 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Man Who was Almost a Man

    • 524 Words
    • 3 Pages

    The Man Who Was Almost a Man Dave Saunders lives in a world where all of his individual rights and privileges are completely stripped from him, strictly because of his ethnicity. His family and everybody around him live similar lives and that it working on a farm day in and day out and not seeing any profits. I feel Dave is humiliated with the life he lives and is sick of how he appears to society. He wants to seem manly, and therefore he decides to purchase a gun, making him look powerful to those…

    • 524 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Becoming a Man Coming of age is a young person’s transition from adolescence to adulthood. For most this can be a very difficult time and can cause a lot of pressure, especially for teenagers. In Richard Wright’s The Man Who Was Almost a Man, the main character, Dave, thinks he is ready to show everyone that he is a man. Dave wants people to give him more respect and treat him like a man; however, his actions seem to backfire leaving him with less respect than he had before. In the beginning…

    • 655 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    In “The Man Who Was Almost a Man,” Richard Wright tells the story of a seventeen year old boy working on a farm. The boy, Dave, is talked down to by the other fieldhands at the farm, and thought that buying a gun might elevate him to a position that would allow him to avoid their mockery and become more of a “man.” Dave’s hopes that a gun might liberate him really ends up doing the opposite, as an incident involving a pistol he purchased puts him 50 dollars in debt, and gives his parents further…

    • 936 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    story, the Theme of the Story is “Looking for Maturity, Respect and Power”. He is tired of been treated as a child, wants to spend his money to whatever he wants, because his mom holds his money, so he just wants to prove to the others that he is a Man. One day he decided to go the local store to buy a gun, which is the store of Mistah Joe, he ask Joe for a catalog, once he gets the catalog he went back home, his mom sees the catalog, and she doesn’t let him to buy, but after he tells her that the…

    • 977 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    The short story “ A Man Who Was Almost A Man” by Richard Wright is about a young man named Dave who struggles with being able to grow up and become a man. Dave has a hard time growing up and becoming a man because of his mother and his father. His mother realizes that he is not fully prepared to take on the task that a man would have to perform so she keeps him sheltered. Dave believes that if he gets a gun that the will be recognized as a man. Dave has the concept of being a man misconstrued.…

    • 727 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    killed and decides to have Macduff’s whole family killed, all out of his paranoia and desire for power. When Duncan was the King of Scotland he was benevolent with his power As king, Macbeth used his power to make people suffer. In Dave’s case in The Man Who Was Almost A Man, Richard Wright’s character, Dave, desperately wanted a gun because he believed that he was a man. Almost immediately after the gun comes into Dave’s possession, he becomes reckless with it. Even though he wanted the gun to…

    • 522 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Throughout the story, The Man Who Was Almost a Man there were three core setting of this story which include but are not limited to the store, Dave's house, the store, and the field. From Dave's point of view, which the story is told, the moods around these setting alter greatly. In Joe's store his qualities goes from normal to happy. In his house his mood changes very frequently. His mood also changes repeatedly in the field as well. The mood rang from happy, to excited, to sad, and also felling…

    • 958 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    in this artistic form of literary expression. American literature after 1865 contains several works that are predominant to the idea of expressing a character’s transition from childhood to adulthood. “A White Heron” by Sarah Jewett, “The Man Who Was Almost A Man” by Richard Wright, and “No Name Woman” by Maxine Kingston each take part in expressing…

    • 1161 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays