The Reality Of Religion In Richard Wright's 'Blackboy'

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The Reality of Religion

Religion is a thing that brings people together, but in some cases, it’s the very force that tears people apart. When people are first introduced to it, it can either be a blessing or burden. In the narrative Blackboy, by Richard Wright, Richard describes his life growing up in the South during Jim Crow laws. He faces a great deal of oppression during his lifetime, but some of the most difficult conflicts he faces are with religion and his own family. Since a young age, Richard’s family was very religious, and they wanted Richard to follow in this path as well. However, they expose him to religion in violent and mentally abusive ways that make their purpose larger than religion itself while completely ignoring Richard’s attempts to make his own choices with religion. Even as Richard becomes older and more able to think for himself, his family’s actions only intensify and they forever change his opinion on religion. However, while Richard’s family was unethical in the way they exposed him to religion, their actions truly reflect the hardships that are associated with a poor African American family during their time.
Throughout his childhood, Richard is constantly exposed to religion in unethical ways by his family. His mother and grandmother pressure him into believing in God by making him feel guilty and useless if he does not do so. On one such occasion, his mother pressures him into being baptized. She says to him, “Don’t you love your old
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