Nature Vs. Nurture In Richard Wright's Black Boy

430 Words2 Pages
Nature versus nurture, a controversial topic, debates whether parental guidance or biological processes affect people more. This constant theme throughout the autobiography Black Boy provides evidence that the way Wright was raised affected him less than his own choices.
To begin, Wright’s family holds religion to an extremely high standard. His granny, aunt, and mother, like most of his community, are avid churchgoers and believers of god. They try to infuse their own beliefs on Wright, sending him to religion school and taking him to church. Even after all of their efforts, though, Wright states, “Finally, the boldest of us confessed that the entire thing was a fraud”(Wright 155). Despite his family’s constant talk of religion and faith. he ends up admitting that he doesn’t see the point in it all. This belief, clearly not from his family, instead comes from his own experiences and mental processes.
Later on in the novel, Wright becomes more interested in writing books. creating stories that
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There are often fights. Wright has to defend himself countless times against his invidious elders’ unfair judgement and inability to control their anger. This creates a violent environment for him in his formative years. One would assume, if nurture influences a person more, that Wright would turn out to be a violent person. But when faced with the choice to fight for money, he states, “I don’t want to fight...I’m no dog or rooster”(Wright 240). His own morals keep him from inflicting unjustified violence upon someone else, unlike how his family treats him. Altogether, nature versus nurture proves to be an underlying theme in the autobiography Black Boy by Richard Wright. Wright demonstrates resilience against his family’s beliefs, refusing to be influenced by anything except his own experiences and himself. Clearly, his ideas aren’t based off familial bonds, but are truly his
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