Motifs In Richard Wright's Black Boy

Good Essays
The historical memoir of Richard Wright, Black Boy, frequently used motifs to demonstrate a common theme. The most prominent one was hunger, which represented the need for food and the eagerness to escape the restraints of the segregated South. During the early to mid 90’s, the southern United States was in a time period of severe prejudices, which promoted violence and inequality against the African Americans. In effect to this, Richard was always desperately hungry throughout his childhood, both literally and figuratively. For African Americans of this time period, employment was hard to come by and paid next to nothing. Families, like Richards, did not have enough to support growing children. Richard and his family was always under stress…show more content…
The Deep South made this a dream next to impossible to achieve because it was hard to graduate from high school, improbable to get into a college (most of them were whites only) and unheard of to get respectable employment opportunities. When Richard was working for the white woman’s household, she remarked. “You’ll never be a writer (...) who on earth put such ideas into your (...) head?” (Wright 147) The discrimination is eminent, however, whenever Richard is told that he cannot do something, it does not make him stop. He keeps going. When Aunt Addie humiliated him in front of the class he did not stop going to school. Even though he changed schools he never stopped studying or gave up on his dream. He hungered for writing and after he wrote, “The Voodoos of Hell’s Half-Acre”, he was once again put down by multiple people. They did not believe that he wrote it because of the stereotype that all black children who grew up where he did in Mississippi were liars. However, hidden under all the negative comments, Richard felt he succeeded because it was his first public short story that people took the time to read. The newspaper editor told Richard, “This story will put your name before our readers. Now, that's something.” (Wright 166) This assured Richard that maybe he did not need the money for it, but he still argued for it. However, he was
Get Access