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.
Early in his life, Richard Wright learned from his mother that in order to survive, he must, at all cost, avoid conflict the white males who had control in his future. This lesson was reiterated several times throughout his educational experiences and social situations. Richard Wright learned to play a dual role which he thought every Negro must play if he wanted to eat and live, to act subservient while at the same time work the system to his benefit. Richard used this method when he wanted to read library books while living in a social environment that concluded that minimally educated Negroes had no need for books. Richard mustered all of his courage and requested the help of a Catholic white man, who also experienced discrimination by
Richard Wright’s father (Nathan Wright) has impacted and shaped Richard by making Richard’s young life full of anger, sorrow, and sadness and his grown life full of skepticism, regret, and emptiness. This is shown when Richard briefly writes about his father. Wright recalls and describes what his father looks like to him as well as how their relationship was, “He was the lawgiver in our family and I never laughed in his presence. I used to lurk timidly in the kitchen doorway and watch his huge body sitting slumped at the table….He was quite fat and his bloated stomach always lapped over his belt. He was always a stranger to me, always somehow alien and remote”
One day Richard was sauntering down the road when he got this call from this person that was threatening his family 's safety on to the peace of the community in which he lives. It could be as treacherous as a gunshot. It ultimately distrusts the comfort of Richard safety and presents a challenge that must be undertaken. Although Richard may be eager to accept the quest, Richard will have fears that need overcoming. Second thoughts or even deeper, personal doubts as to whether he 's up for the challenge or not.
“Colored” and “White” displayed all over the town, low wages, horrible treatment, and the constant belittlement of African-Americans were reoccurring issues colored people went through in the South. In the South people always had to stay light on their feet, and could never really just think for himself or just plainly be themself. In the South people were in constant worry about how they had to talk to whites, how they acted around whites, and worried about even coming into contact with someone who’s white. In contrast , in Chicago no one was worried about anyone or any type of business, but their own.
The negro community is no stranger than disadvantage. Even on the surface of thought with the weapons Richard and his friend uses against the white children. Richard’s situation is a perfect foreshadow of modern society. He gets gashed with a broken glass bottle and instead of focusing on who threw it, he gets blamed. Where do we see that today ?
white world. (Ibid 33) Strangely enough, for Jan Mohamed’s (1995) argument to work he himself must ignore the misogyny in Wright’s text. He never directly discusses the women in Black Boy, save one passage on Richard’s sick mother and there he cites her illness as yet another reflection of Richard’s suffering. Richard’s first job while in the South involved witnessing a gruesome attack on a black female client of his boss and the boss’s son.
From a very young age and most of his life, Richard Wright had suffered from hunger. Because hunger was normal for Richard, he could not even think about eating food everyday. Richard has experienced several different stages of hunger. In Richard Wright's novel Black Boy, Richard suffers from physical, emotional, and mental hunger. Richard Wright had suffered from physical hunger throughout his life.
"And my fury at him Is nothing compared to my fury at myself." What he means by these lines are that, he is mad at his uncle for beating his little brother. But he is furious that he can't stop it. He wants to help but all he can do is sit there and take away Cody's pain. We learned that Brewster is angry about what happens to him.
The overall theme for the book “Black Boy” is you work hard enough you can become anything despite your physical appearance, for instance in Richard's case it was his race. The motif “hunger” ties back with the theme because in RIchard's case even though he was dirt poor he still worked hard to get whatever money he could earn and feed himself and his family. So Richard worked hard to earn money even though his race didn’t make it easy to. The motif “violence also ties back to the theme because violence was a big part of Richard's childhood. Again, although Richard faced violence, discrimination, ect.