The Destruction Of The Family In Richard Wright's Black Boy

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Within Richard Wright’s novel, Black Boy, Young Richard is surrounded, but not included, by a community that is tied together strongly through the oppressive religion enforced in his childhood home. During the later part of Wright’s childhood years, he is raised by his mother, his Granny, and his Aunt Addie. His Granny is the head of the household, and she “maintain[s] a hard religious regime” (p111, par2), making the family include religious aspects in everyday actions. She is an extremely religious woman, and this is repeatedly shown in how she runs the family. Granny uses her power in the household to enforce Christianity upon her family members. Young Richard is “compelled to make a pretense of worshipping [Granny’s] God, which was her exaction for [his] keep” (p102, par1). She…show more content…
He did not get his way, because when they suggested he be enrolled in the church school, despite his “raised arguments and objections, [his] mother sided with Granny and Aunt Addie and he had to accept” (p104, par1). His impression of the school was not high, as he differentiated himself from the “docile lot… [t]hese boys and girls were will-less, their speech flat, their gestures vague, their personalities devoid of anger, hope, laughter, enthusiasm, passion, or despair”(p104, par3); essentially, they seemed to lack the strong emotions that Young Richard valued. He was different from them, and this set him apart from this community. He had grown up on “another plane of living” (p104, par3). After the one year of church school, he immediately went back to public school. He felt he was “no longer set apart for being sinful, [and] felt that [he] could breathe again, live again, that [he] had been released from a prison” (p122, par1). He felt pressured and out of place in the church community, and it had made him feel pressured and

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