Analysis of Black Boy by Richard Wright

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A quote from Martin Luther King Jr. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Martin Luther King Jr. is one of the most renowned public speakers and advocate for equal rights of African Americans. Despite the story Black Boy, by Richard Wright, taking place several years before Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, there is a prevalent discrimination in both time periods. In the beginning of the novel Black Boy, Richard maintained a facade, or superficial appearance, that blacks were equal to whites. But later, Richard would soon begin understanding the brutalities people of his skin color would face primarily through Jim Crow laws, which extinguished his false sense of equality for blacks and whites. As a young boy, Richard was deprived of a loving and supporting family, despite his effort and “hunger” for such a family. But as Richard grew up he had more freedom and began to come in touch with the real world. Now Richard had acquired a “hunger” for new understanding and knowledge of the real world, and tried to apply this knowledge to the past, present, and future. Although primarily figuratively, Wright does have a literal hunger throughout the novel. One figurative, yet literal example of Wright’s hunger is for love and support from his family. Richard could never please his family in any aspect from obeying to being spiritual through prayer. As the novel progresses, Richard becomes more detached from his family by saying "The entire family became kind and forgiving, but I knew the motives that prompted their change and it drove me an even greater emotional distance from them." (146). A purely literal use of Wright’s hunger is when he says “Once again I knew hunger, biting hunger, hunger that made my ... ... middle of paper ... ...the impossible can be the possible. Wright’s story emphasizes the idea of building one’s future for the better by themselves and that difficulties are a part of life. If one positively reacts to difficulties and learn from their mistakes, they will not only create a better future for themselves, they could be an inspiration for others and build a better character and image for himself or herself. Wright created a better future for himself because he had perseverance and would never let the goal of moving to the North out of sight. Despite others telling me he should stop reading and drop the dream of becoming a writer, Wright continued no matter how hard others put him down and how dim the future looked. This could be a life lesson to all; one should go for their dreams no matter what complications or people come in the way, this can be the key to one’s success.
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