An Analysis Of Richard Wright's The Man Who Was Almost A Man

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Richard Wright’s “The Man Who Was Almost a Man,” is a short story involving Dave Saunders, a fledgling man’s fight between good and evil, and his attempt to gain the power that he desires. Dave’s desire to live a fruitful life and to transform into a man is his path towards goodness. The evil in the world from Dave’s viewpoint is the negative factors that he must overcome throughout his life such as: his family and the wrongdoings of society. Dave is a seventeen-year-old young man who desires nothing more than for society to show him respect and for people to recognize him as a man. Because of this desire to be treated as a man, the hunt for power and respect becomes vital to Dave. In order for Dave to gain the respect associated with…show more content…
This is evident through Dave’s attitude towards Mr. Hawkins, his boss and owner of the murdered mule. Dave senses that Mr. Hawkins only wants to keep him working and treating him like a mule, and it is this realization that causes Dave’s want to take a goodbye shot at Mr. Hawkins’s “big white house” (Wright, Page 282) to put a little fear in him. In "The Man Who Was Almost a Man," Wright makes the main character Dave Saunders a servant to racial hardship. He demonstrates how whites always have an upper hand over blacks. Dave is just like his parents; he is vulnerable to white men in power and money such as his boss Mr. Hawkins and the shop owner Joe. He will never have the power or the money to reach his full potential. Dave lives in a world where he has no power, whether it be personal or economic. In his eyes, he lives a life full of humiliation and abuse. He works a lowly job for money that is given directly to his mom, who with his dad, he is forced to obey. He is also subjected to constant belittling from the hands of his fellow field hands. He has a growing sense of shame that comes from the economic and social forces that keep him from going after his dreams and reaching his full
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