Conflict In Richard Wright

896 Words4 Pages
From the time when he was almost abused to death by his mother and father at the age of four, to his young adult life where he was verbally and physically tormented by his white counterparts, Richard Wright fought through life, struggle by violent struggle. As an African American living in the South, struggle is a day to day battle. For Richard, one of the struggles is violence, and being that he was born and raised in the South, he doesn't know anything different. Violence, whether it be verbal or physical, is something that many southern African Americans faced. This struggle debilitated Richard throughout his adolescence, and it poisoned his views of white people, religion, and the South.
In Richard’s early childhood, he is colorblind. He
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It isn't just his secularity, but his thirst for knowledge as well. Richard yearns to read, write and explore the scholarly world, which is frowned upon because in the South, black people must play the part of the modest, ignorant, African American who say yes, sir and no, sir. An example of this conformity is, “‘Ain’t you learned sense’n that yet?’ asked the man who hit me. ‘Ain’t you learn to say sir to a white man yet?” (181) Richard was violently confronted by a white man after he had offered to give Richard a ride, and he turned it down. This proves that if Richard says or does the wrong thing, he will provoke hostility. He knows in his mind what white people expect, but he doesn’t want to yield to that standard. Even teachers, principals, and other school mates of his expect something, “‘Listen, boy, you’re going to speak to both white and colored people that night. What can you alone think of saying to them? You have no experience…’”. (174) Richard was selected valedictorian of his class, and was assigned to deliver a speech. He was unaware that the speech he’d be presenting was one written by his own principal. This makes Richard furious, that his knowledge would be questioned because of his race. Richard has always wanted to break away from home, to go up north and become a writer. He invisions the North as a golden place of opportunity, where all men are equal. Later in Richard’s teen years, he works for three white men: Mr. Reynolds, Mr. Crane, and Mr. Pease. Throughout Richard’s time working for them, they intimidate, threaten, and make crude comments towards him. Reynolds even accuses Richards of calling Mr. Pease Pease, without saying mister. He attempted to defend himself, but he was shot in his soul with verbal bullets. These accusations caused Richard to feel inhuman, as he was scared
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