The Conformity in a White Society: Understanding Richard Wright's Black Boy

The Conformity in a White Society: Understanding Richard Wright's Black Boy

Length: 1006 words (2.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

“I would hurl words into this darkness and wait for an echo, and if an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight, to create a sense of the hunger for life that gnaws in us all, to keep alive in our hearts a sense of the inexpressibly human.” (Richard Wright) In 1945 an intelligent black boy named Richard Wright made the brave decision to write and publish an autobiography illustrating the struggles, trials, and tribulations of being a Negro in the Jim Crow South. Ever since Wright wrote about his life in Black Boy many African American writers have been influenced by Wright to do the same. Wright found the motivation and inspiration to write Black Boy through the relationships he had with his family and friends, the influence of folk art and famous authors of the early 1900s, and mistreatment of blacks in the South and uncomfortable racial barriers.
Wright had a large family that all lived close to one another in Jackson, Mississippi, but Wright felt isolated from them because he didn’t have complete faith in the beliefs and values his relatives had. At a young age, Wright’s father left his family, leaving his own family to support themselves with little money. Wright constantly blamed his father for his constant hunger, and “whenever I felt hunger I thought of him with a deep biological bitterness.” (Wright 16). Living on practically nothing, Wright’s mom, Ella began to push her son into becoming the man of the household. Despite Wright’s constant fear of getting hurt, he slowly started to develop bravery. Without being brave, Wright would have never found the courage to write about his own life. The only source of support his family received was from his maternal grandmother, who ...


... middle of paper ...


...Jim Crow era also made it difficult for Wright to become as influential of an author as he would have liked to be. Wright is just the beginning of many African American authors sharing their own perspective, positive or negative, of the African American experience.



Works Cited

Ellison, Ralph. "Richard Wright's Blues." Gale Literature Resources Center. Gale, 2005. Web. 18 Jan. 2014.
Labbe, Sarah L. "Writers of the Harlem Renaissance at Odds: Wright and Hurston's Different Approaches." Salve Digital Commons. Salve Regina Universtiy, 2013. Web. 31 Jan. 2014. .
Whitted, Qiana J. "Using my grandmother's life as a model." Gale Literature Resources Center. Gale, 2004. Web. 18 Jan. 2014.
Wright, Richard. Black Boy: (American Hunger), a Record of Childhood and Youth. New York: HarperPerennial Modern Classics, 2008. Print.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Black Boy by Richard Wright Essay examples

- Black Boy Essay Analyse the process through which Richard becomes independent and highlight your observations through judicious textual references which capture the power of Wright's narrative style. This novel focuses on the struggle for identity of a young black boy in the Deep South. It is a powerful testament of his life. In this novel, Wright uses writing to free himself from the prejudice he is constantly facing, gradually he find that writing allows him to explore new ideas and expand his imagination, not only this, but Wright discovers through self realisation that he faces a need to write in order to break out from the constraining world of race, religion and family....   [tags: Wright Richard Black Boy]

Free Essays
1387 words (4 pages)

Prejudice Explored in "Black Boy" by Richard Wright Essay

- In a country full of inequities and discriminations, numerous books were written to depict our unjust societies. One of the many books is an autobiography by Richard Wright. In Black Boy, Wright shares these many life-changing experiences he faced, which include the discovery of racism at a young age, the fights he put up against discriminations and hunger, and finally his decision of moving Northward to a purported better society. Through these experiences which eventually led him to success, Wright tells his readers the cause and effect of racism, and hunger....   [tags: Black Boy, Richard Wright, racism, prejudice]

Strong Essays
874 words (2.5 pages)

Black Boy By Richard Wright Essay

- Racism has been an important issue throughout history, especially in the United States, where after many struggles, civil rights were finally achieved. Though the key to understanding the segregation that happened is by looking at past from different perspectives. In, Black Boy by Richard Wright is autobiography story is about his experiences growing up as an African American in the segregated South. While, Separated Pasts by Melton A. McLaurin is an autobiography story about him growing up in a town called Wade, as a white who formed relationships with blacks....   [tags: Black people, White people, South Africa]

Strong Essays
1268 words (3.6 pages)

Black Boy By Richard Wright Essay examples

- Black Boy by Richard Wright and Separate Pasts: Growing up White in the Segregated South by Melton McLaurin are autobiographies based on segregation in the south in the early twentieth century. They are set in different times and different perspectives. Black Boy begins when the main character, Richard Wright, is four years old in the 1910’s. He grows up in Jackson Mississippi and moves north later in his life. In Separate Pasts the author is white and grows up in Wade, North Carolina in the 1950’s....   [tags: Black people, White people, Race, South Africa]

Strong Essays
1690 words (4.8 pages)

Essay on Black Boy By Richard Wright

- The world can often be a difficult place, especially for those who refuse to fall within the norms. The memoir Black Boy by Richard Wright tells his story growing up in a world that fights against him, and the willpower that he has to push forward and fight right back. Throughout the novel, Wright builds upon several concepts to demonstrate the struggles and challenges that he faced while growing in a world where the odds were against him. Richard Wright explores racism (1), literature (2), and religion (3) to reveal the inner strength and willpower that he gains after overcoming the discrimination in the society he lives in, but with the realization that some battles cannot be won....   [tags: White people, Black people, Race, Racism]

Strong Essays
1528 words (4.4 pages)

Richard Wright 's Black Boy Essay

- Black Boy is an autobiography of Richard Wright 's life from his childhood growing up in the south, to him leaving the communist party. Wright writes this novel for several meaningful purposes. He demonstrates to the reader the struggle of being a black person in the south after the Civil War. Even though a numerous amount of people have obtained information about racism in the south, he displays a handful of personal situations that go more into depth about racism. He writes this novel to illustrate all the events he copes with throughout his life that demonstrates a better understanding of who this author is as a person....   [tags: White people, Black people, Race, South Africa]

Strong Essays
934 words (2.7 pages)

Essay on Richard Wright 's Black Boy

- From roughly around the year 1890 to 1945, scholars referred to this as a literary period known as Modern. Throughout these years, there was a drastic change in America before 1945 and after 1945 ending the World War II. These years caused an enormous and worldly shift socially and culturally in America. Many black authors (Jean Toomer, Zora Neal Hurston and etc.) and poets wrote to portray, describe and illustrate the effects this shift had on African Americans. The four novels we discussed in class depicts the effects the changes in society and culture had on African Americans during this period leading to alienation and self-awareness....   [tags: Black people, White people, African American]

Strong Essays
1149 words (3.3 pages)

Essay on The Power of Language in Richard Wright’s Black Boy

- The Power of Language in Richard Wright’s Black Boy A stunning realization for Richard Wright in his autobiography Black Boy was the multifaceted uses of language; his words could offend, console, enrage, or be a fatal weapon. In Wright’s unceasing quest for knowledge, he discovers a strange world that makes him feel that he had “overlooked something terribly important in life.” He conveys his amazement at the literary realm through his metaphorical language and curiosity depicting his point of view....   [tags: Richard Wright’s Black Boy]

Strong Essays
596 words (1.7 pages)

Violence in Richard Wright’s Black Boy Essay

- Violence in Richard Wright’s Black Boy Most literary works centering on adolescence do not depict it as the proverbial walk through the park; a smooth transition between the naivet6 and innocence of childhood to the morality and self -awareness of adulthood is an implausibility confined to the most basic of fairy tales and weekday morning children’s television programming. When analyzed in depth, the mat uration process of a human being is depicted almost always as some sort of struggle, retaliation against the forces of oppression regardless of their forms (including social, political or religious obstacles)....   [tags: Richard Wright Black Boy Essays]

Strong Essays
3535 words (10.1 pages)

Richard Wright and Black Boy Essay

- Richard Wright and Black Boy One main point of the United States Constitution was missing from the Jim Crow South: equality. The Constitution clearly states that "all men are created equal," but in the Jim Crow era blacks were continuously persecuted for something that would be acceptable in today's society. In the early 20th century the South was a place of racial prejudice, discrimination, and hate; blacks could be punished for simply looking at a white person in the wrong manner. Punishments included arrest, beating, even lychings were a common part of the age....   [tags: Black Boy]

Free Essays
1366 words (3.9 pages)