The Man Who Was Almost A Man Summary

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“The Man Who Was Almost a Man” by Richard Wright gives insight as to why age does not determine maturity. He develops his idea first, by revealing the thought of Dave a seventeen year old who believes turning eighteen would make him a man; second, by showing that there are consequences for people who are in a hurry to grow up. The short story began with Dave making the statement “Ahm ol ernough to hava gun. Ahm seventeen. Almost a man” as a reason for his mother to allow him to buy a gun, but age does not determine if he is a man. What will determine manly hood is maturity. Maturity is determined by the way people handle situations, the type of respect they have for everyone, and their ability to make wise decision rather than irrational ones, but from the dialogues Dave had between Mr. Joe, and his parents doesn’t show that he has a better understanding of what it means to be a…show more content…
The first incident being when he “looked at the floor, scratched his head, scratched his thigh” while at Mr. Joe’s store. This gesture shows the lack of confidences Dave has about owning a gun. The second incident occurred after Dave’s mother asked him to bring the gun to her. He instead hides the gun from his mother because he believes he was responsible enough to keep the gun. As a result of keeping the gun away from his mother an innocent mule was killed. Moments leading up to the death of the mule, Wright gives a reader vivid description of how the gun was held as proof that Dave didn’t have proper knowledge of how to handle a gun. This quote “The gun felt loose in his fingers; he waved it wildly for a moment. Then he shut his eyes and tightened his forefinger” is proof that Dave didn’t have proper knowledge of how to handle a gun. From third person omniscient point of view, Wright was not only able to convince youths about rushing to grow up, but was also able to tell about the dangers of owning a
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