The Man Who Was Almost A Man Analysis

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What does “coming of age” mean? For most it means moving from childhood immaturity to adulthood maturity. Additionally, “coming of age” can signify that a boy or girl is mature enough to understand his or her responsibility towards society and family. In the short story “The Man Who Was Almost a Man,” Richard Wright tells about a boy named Dave Saunders that thinks he is “of age” when in reality he is not. As the title suggests, Dave is between boyhood and adulthood. In several ways, other figures in the story—Dave’s parents, Hawkins, and the unnamed men he works with—threaten Dave’s sense of manhood. Dave is eager to grow up and gain respect, so he buys a gun, thinking it will make him a man. Although Dave tries to force himself into maturity, it is shown throughout the story he is not ready manhood. Dave shows throughout the story how he isn’t ready for adulthood in many ways. One way is that he lies often. Dave’s lies prove the fact that he isn’t ready for the responsibilities of adulthood. In the story it seems as if he didn’t care that he was a man in sense of maturity- just the perception of being a man to everyone else. Throughout the story, Dave tries to twist the truth in his favor so that he can buy a gun and avoid punishment. He convinces his mother to give him the $2 to buy the gun, only after telling her that he plans to give it to his father. He backs out on his promise to give her the gun after buying it by staying out late and leaving early in the morning to
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