The Man Who Was Almost A Man Essay

The Man Who Was Almost A Man Essay

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Even though freedom is God given right, due to greedy and evil nature of some people and institutions human being is enslaved both physically and psychologically. The enslaved will not stay in bondage forever and eventually revolt (peacefully or violently) to gain freedom, dignity, respect, and power.
In his short story, “The Man Who Was Almost a Man,” Richard Wright makes the character of Dave Saunders as a teenager boy who struggles to break childhood stage and becomes an adult. Regardless of being young gentleman who happened to be poor, black, and he was being perceived as a boy by his community, but he believed that he was a man. Mr. David Saunders was a servant of Mr. Hawkins, a white man, as most of other blacks during that time. Even though the slaves were free nominally at that time due to economic hardship, they worked under whites like they used to be slaves. David also garnered the consequence of it. To attain his freedom and show his manhood, he stopped by Mr. Joe’s store to buy a gun. However, he got humiliated by the white gun shop owner not differently than Mr. Hawkins. For instance, the gun owner belittled him, saying “"Your ma lettin you have your own money now?"” (Wright, par. 9). Mr. Joe briefed that David was under control of his mother even for his own money. David, who was seventeen years old, had lived in a world of no power, humiliation and abuse. He grew up almost without any male figurehead even though his father was lived with him, but his mother was his confidante as the gun owner stated. In order to be a man, David bought a gun thinking that would give him power, and freedom that he never had.
Attaining manhood stage is an uphill struggle for underprivileged, farm worker, teenager boy whose father...


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... about his change in tone and attitude. Instead of complaining and cursing, he wants to show him his manhood. However, due to unconducive environment at home and the community, he leaves everything behind but certainly marching towards freedom.
In conclusion, Richard Wright’s short story, “The Man Who Was Almost a Man,” is about Dave Saunders, who was seventeen, young, poor, and black boy, worked in the farm of Mr. Hawkins. This young boy tried to get power, respect, and freedom by buying a gun and killing his boss mule in the field where he worked as a farmer. Mocked and humiliated in front of many by standers including his parents to buy the dead mule, but he got the courage to reject that proposal. Finally, he refrained from paying for the dead mule and rejected the sociocultural rule he grew up by standing against it, and he got the power to move to his freedom.

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