The Symbolism Of Fire In Richard Wright's Black Boy

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I remember when I was about ten, in the fifth grade, I came home one evening bored and started playing with paper. Paper that I eventually set on fire, that eventually set my trash can on fire, scared me to death, and got my butt whipped. In the book Black Boy by Richard Wright, Wright has many central messages and themes. One major motif was fire and its metaphors and uses in the book. Wright utilized fire to show his development educationally, religiously, and psychologically. Fire was used to represent Wright’s development educationally when Richard begs for Granny's house guest, Ella, to read to him. Richard says “my imagination blazed” (Wright 39). In this context the word has much meaning about Richard’s yearning passion for reading. This shows that Richard has a desire for learning and reading and once, and even after Richards Granny had told him he could not read in the house again, he vows to read as many books as he could when he got older. …show more content…

In this context Wright’s use of the word blaze, is meant to be in a bad way, not as before but as in a way implying that granny is really upset almost in a devil like manner. Wright’s uses of blaze, burn and devil all relate to the idea of fire and hell, which is important because it shows how Granny’s strong sense of religion instead of making Richard religious actually made Richard psychologically rebel religion

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