Essay On Richard Wright's Autobiography Of An Ex-Colored Man

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Although both Richard Wright’s “Black Boy” and James Weldon Johnson’s “Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man” tell the tale of a black or not so black man facing the turmoil of segregation. There is a very distinct difference in both tales. Most notably, both men have very different living conditions and take contrasting approaches towards life. James Weldon Johnson’s “Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man” takes a very different approach on the entirety of the white or black, segregation issue that so many books have done well. Instead of telling the tale of a struggling black male, fighting to keep a job, moving from home to home as in Richard Wright’s “Black Boy”, but instead tells the side of a “white man”. The unnamed narrator goes along this…show more content…
Just to show how separate these two stories are, Black Boy opens up with young Richard lighting straw on fire in his grandmother’s furnace while his brother repeatedly tells him to stop. Richard then sets his grandmother’s curtains ablaze just to understand what would happen. This event is a representation of Richard’s constant struggle to understand the separation between black and white and the way the world works now while at the same time being constantly badgered about how he should stop trying to understand everything and should just go along with everything. Because of Richard’s constant desire to understand everything, he repeatedly creates turmoil in his numerous households. An example being when he moves back into his grandmother’s house and takes up an extreme obsession with reading while his heavily religious grandmother, who believes that anything fictional is the work of the devil. After his grandmother decides that Richard is unbelievably sinful, she tries to heavily reform him but to no success what so
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