Black Boy

First America’, Or Black Boy

February 11, 2021 by Essay Writer

Black Boy is an autobiography book about the tortured years of Richard Wright’s life, in his early life. They talk about how a black kid from a poor family wants to become a writer and wants to go North. Meanwhile he’s learning how to survive, how to handle hunger, religion and the difference between right and wrong. The story is set in the early twentieth century, in a society with a high violence level against racism. Ever since Richard was young he has been curious to know what is going on around him. He was good at learning and always wanted to know why things happen and how they happen.Because of the hard life lessons Richard has been through, he realized in what his society is like. All that turned him into the kind of person he was. Also, when Richard was small and was abandoned by his father, his mother makes him understand that he is hungry because his father has left them. As a small child, Richard really does not understand hunger; he just knows that he was hungry and that he has to work to solve the issue of hunger.

Hunger also represents the desire to know more about what causes things to be considered right or wrong. For example; Richard needs to know what causes racial discrimination. When he goes outside, he sees situations of violence. He wonders why white people attack a black person. He wonders why nobody wants to answer his questions. He wonders why is the fear of white people normal. He wonders why nobody wants to answer his questions. Oppressors fear curiosity among the oppressed, since curiosity finally discovers the lies that form the basis of that oppression. Nobody wants to do anything to solve this because they are afraid of the result. On the other hand, religion plays an important role in the book. Richard’s mother raises him as a Christian. He submits to the pressure of God, but his faith is lost because he cannot understand why a loving God, who can provide everything, does not provide food to his mother and him. He begins to see God as someone solely. He tends to exchange his faith in God as someone who punishes black people. He tends to exchange his faith in God for his writing. However, he always feels an inevitable moral connection with religion.

Society makes him consider that Christianity is based primarily on a general inclusion in a group rather than incorporating a meaningful, spiritual connection with God. From his childhood, he is different from the rest of the black children. He does not want to do what everyone else does, and he refuses to conform throughout the book. He is, therefore, rejected. He is always known for his attitude of detachment and for his curiosity to become and do something better for society. He shows the world reality, for which other people consider him “bad”. For example; no one supports him with his dream of becoming a writer. He is embarrassed by them because they do not think a black person can become a writer. For example; Richard lost his job for trying to help a black woman who is being beaten by white people. Basically, he is always discriminated against for seeking equality between a white person and a black person. Richard is totally disgusted with the persecution of blacks by whites. All the situations he has lived through since childhood make him want to live in the North, which, he believes, would make life better. When is finally manages to move North, he does not feel liberated and realizes that he will always be who he is and always belongs to the place where he was born. He also begins to understand that crime is necessary and that it is only bad if it does not serve to improve society. Still, he does not know how to communicate with society.

Still, he does not know how to communicate with society or understand racism. He only knows that he wants to write to make everyone feel what he also feels; hunger for a better life. I think Richard Wright wants all people, in general, to realize that we do not have to stop doing something we want to do just because people tell us not to do it or that it is not for us. Richard would tell us to always fight for our dreams, as well as for the common good because the common good will provide is with an individual good. This will help us create a better life for the whole world. As for the racism that remains today, he want to show black people that they are not alone, that skin color does not matter, that the only thing that matters is that we are all people, and all people have the same rights and opportunities. In my opinion, I agree with Richard, and I think just like he does when it come to the issue of racism.

Read more

Black Boys: a History Of American Blacks

February 11, 2021 by Essay Writer

When it comes to narrative writing and techniques, Wright definitely has a way to use it. In this book, he uses a variety of techniques to tell his stories and express his themes. Wright showed many emotions through out the story about how they treated him and gave him a hard time growing up. Black Boy is a memoir of racism which is constantly shifting setting. Richard Wright’s young life is filled with constant movement, from one place to another. Also he suffered from hunger and had limited medication because African-American families in a white-dominated area don’t have access to proper food, medicine, and other lifestyle necessities.

One of the major part of this story is Racism. During these times people treated each other differently just because of there skin, as a boy, Richard sees that some people have lighter skin, and other people have darker skin. But he has a hard time understanding what these distinctions mean culturally and politically. After observing the hate of whites and he sees the fears in which many black families live.Wright asks his mother, early on, if he is a ‘ Negro. ‘His mother replies that society would label him one, though he is actually of mixed white, Native American, and African ancestry. Wright states that, as he grows older, he begins to see that white children and white families in the South are off a privileged class, and that black families serve white families. Wright knew what he was in the world but didn’t like it. Tears and pain were definitely included in this book because it was horrible what he went through but he fought and made it. He was definitely proud and happy with himself. Richard lived in Mississippi and Arkansas in which he gets exposed to white against blacks. While there Richard himself is physically threatened by two men called Pease and Reynolds were he is forced to leave his job at Crane’s eyeglass shop. This kind of stuff is horrible knowing you can’t do anything but to listen and give them what they want.

Weight also went through the struggles of the moving from one place to another. Wright is born in Jackson, Mississippi. The capital of the state serves as his home base for much of his young life. But after his father leaves the family for another woman, and his mother has a stroke, Wright moves back and forth between relatives in Mississippi, Arkansas, and Memphis. Wright’s movement from place to place causes him to never truly feel at home in a single location. His schooling is frequently interrupted which leaves his reports saying that he only a has few years of continuous schooling in Jackson. He flees to Memphis, and, eventually to Chicago, in his early twenties. Most people would hate moving from place to place but Richard did it because he wanted a better life for himself.

Lastly, Black Boy details Wright’s physical discomfort and the privations of his life in Mississippi, Arkansas, and Tennessee. Many characters in the memoir also suffer greatly, because African-American families in the white-dominated South. Knowing that being different skin tones was wrong he still wanted people to know we are all human. Although Richard continues to get hate he pushes forward not only for himself but for his family too. When his father left his mom for another person the whole family had to world extra hard just to afford food. They had to work for white folks just to be able to put food on table which shows that whites were more superior then those who are black. Knowing this Richard wanted to make a change for the better. Not only did society push him but he did to and in the end he reached those goals.

In conclusion, the black boy by Richard Wright taught me that no matter how hard or how easy life may be we are still strong. We still have a life to live no matter what life brings for us. Knowing that Wright went through all these kind of made me think about how I had a hard time growing up too definitely not in a way like him but knowing that he has the strength to share his story is amazing. Because in the end it makes the people reading it became strong enough to get through anything that’s going on in life or share what they went through. He took charge of his own life and made it to where he is now. Many stories and emotions were showed throughout this book making it feel like you were apart of it.

Read more

Social Injustice And Human Suffering in “Black Boy” By Richard Wright

February 11, 2021 by Essay Writer

“Writing is an extreme privilege but it’s also a gift. It’s a gift to yourself and it’s a gift of giving a story to someone” – Amy Tan. Richard Wright is one who’s amongst those who are such superb writers. In Black Boy, by Richard Wright, a powerful account of Richard Wright’s journey is discussed throughout. Richard Wright speaks with his own voice about his journey from innocence to experience in the Jim Crow South. He covers two major themes in American literary history: social injustice and human suffering. His spoken truth brings up matters that can still evoke at the center of our lives.

As a child living in Memphis, Tennessee, Wright encountered poverty. “Hunger stole upon me so slowly that at first I was not aware of what hunger really ment… I would grow dizzy and my vision would dim. I became less active in my play, and for the first time in my life I had to pause and think of what was happening to me”. Wright’s hunger symbolized a struggle that he had in his life, and that was associated with his father, whom Wright and his family had relied on for providing them food, but suddenly got abandoned from. Wright’s father’s absence would mean that there would be no food. Wright then went through days sliding past the image of his father becoming involved with his experience of hunger pain, and whenever he felt hunger, he thought of his father with a deep biological bitterness. Since his father abandoned the family, his mother has been the one who raised them and worked very hard each day to provide for them. Wright’s mother also tried to get them to become mature and take upon themselves the responsibility of the flat while she worked. Wright then started to experience violence near his home. He would be so full of fear of getting beaten and robbed by a specific group of boys. “They came toward me and I broke into a wild run toward home. They overtook me and flung me to the pavement. I yelled, pleaded, kicked, but they wrenched the money out of my hand. They yanked me to my feet, gave me a few slaps, and sent me home sobbing”. That one moment made Wright’s mother teach him to stand up and fight for himself. The same situation soon happened again, but then things suddenly changed for Wright, who suddenly won the right to the streets of Memphis. In Wright’s sixth year, before he had begun school, he was a drunkard. Wright would crave for alcohol and beg for pennies from passers-by. He later stopped craving for alcohol and forgot the taste of it when his mother placed him and his brother in the keeping of an elderly black woman who’d watch his every moment to prevent him for repeating his mistakes. He soon stumbles upon the relations between whites and blacks, and what he learned, frightened him. When word circulated among the black people of the neighborhood that a black boy had been severely beaten by a white man, Wright felt that the white man had had a right to beat the black boy, for he naively assumed that the white man must have been the black boy’s father. Wright then learned from his mother that the white man was not the father of the black boy and that the white man didn’t whip the black boy, but beat him. He eventually learns about racism from what he observes in the world. That then made him now wonder about white people and what they were really like.

When school opened, Wright didn’t prepare himself, but he enrolled anyways (in the eighth grade). During that time, he became quiet and reserved as the nature of the world in which he lived, became plain and undeniable; the emptiness of the future affected his will to study. “The eighth grade days flowed in their hungry path and I grew more conscious of myself; I sat in classes, bored, wondering, dreaming”. Wright’s school was far across town and the walking distance alone consumed his breakfast of mush and lard gravy. Wright also seemed to feel an undue awareness of himself, his appearance, or his actions. He was aware of and responded to his surroundings. He became more concerned and tense. He’d also daydream about one thing in particular that he was passionate about, which was writing stories. He’d imagine a place where everything was possible, believing that he had a naïve imagination that possibility was too remote. He even tried to keep hope alive in him. One long fry afternoon, he took out his composition book and told himself that he would write a story; it was sheer idleness that led him to it. That then led Wright into publishing his first short story, The Voodoo of Hell’s Half-Acre, which he described as “crudely atmospheric, emotional, intuitively psychological, and stemmed from pure feeling” (165). The Voodoo of Hell’s Half-Acre then got divided into three installments by an editor, who also gave Wright a chance to write. Eventually, Wright’s story took part in the copies of the Southern Register, but no copies survived. Wright later needed an all-day job that would pay him enough money to buy clothes and books for the next school term. Luckily the studies in his ninth—his last year at school— were light, and he had a chance to have good grades. “It was even hinted that, if I kept my grades high, it would be possible for me to teach in the city school system”. During a part of the term, Wright’s teacher turned over the class to his supervision, which was an honor that helped him emotionally, and made him hope faintly. Wright seemed to have hopes in taking an opportunity to become a teacher. When the school term ended, he was selected as valedictorian of his class and was assigned to write a paper to be delivered in a public auditorium. Later, Wright was called to the principal’s office, where the principal gave him a prepared speech to present in place of his own. He then challenged the principal due to how he didn’t want to make a public speech that wasn’t his own. The principal then threatened him, suggesting that he might not be allowed to graduate if he persisted, despite having passed all the examinations. He also tried to entice Wright with an opportunity to become a teacher. He put pressure on one of Wright’s uncles to speak to Wright and get him to change his mind, but Wright continued to be adamant about presenting his own speech and refused to let his uncle edit it. Despite the pressure, Wright delivered his speech as he had planned. Later that year, he begins high school but drops out after only a few weeks so he can earn money. At times he worked two or even three jobs. He took a series of odd jobs to earn money for family expenses and save enough money to leave for Memphis, which he did at age seventeen. During that time in his life, he began to read contemporary American literature, as well as commentary by H. L. Mencken, which struck him with particular force.

Wright’s first move to Jackson, Mississippi seemed to be nice for him. “Granny’s home in Jackson was an enchanting place to explore… Granny’s son, Uncle Clark, had bought her this home, and its white plastered walls, its front and back porches, its round columns and banisters, made me feel that surely there was no finer house in all the round world”. He seemed to like the thought of his grandmother’s home. His grandmother’s home seemed to be very different compared to where he lived in before he moved there. It also seemed to be a place where Wright could now live comfortably in. Wright and his brother also had many advantages of living in such a nice home. “There were wide green fields in which my brother and I roamed and played and shouted. And there were the timid children of the neighbors, boys and girls to whom my brother and I felt superior in worldly knowledge. We took pride in telling them what it was like to ride on a train, what the yellow, sleepy Mississippi River looked like, how it felt to sail on the Kate Adams, what Memphis looked like, and how I had run off from the orphan home. And we would hint that we were pausing for but a few days and then would be off to even more fabulous places and marvelous experiences”. Wright and his brother seemed to love living in their grandmother’s home, especially because of the atmosphere in which it’s located in. They also had a chance to explore and roam around the area. It’s like Jackson, Mississippi was a sweet escape for Wright and his family. Wright then soon comes into contact with books and stories. A young woman named Ella, who is boarding at Granny’s house, to help support the household, reads Richard the story of Bluebeard and His Seven Wives. She tells Wright that the story is about a man named Bluebeard, who loved and married seven women but murdered them by hanging them up in a closet. As she spoke to Wright about the story, reality changed for him, “the look of things altered, and the world became peopled with magical presences”. Wright’s sense of life then deepened and the feel of things was different, somehow. He was enchanted and enthralled, his imagination blazed, and the sensations that the story had, aroused him. The magical moment then ended abruptly when his grandmother found out. Wright’s grandmother was in a blaze of fury then scolding Ella. “You stop that, you evil gal! I want none of that Devil stuff in my house!”. She seemed to think of the story as the “Devil’s work”. Wright’s grandmother was a very religious woman, and that seemed to influence her opinion about stories, thinking of them as sinful. She seemed to definitely not like anything fiction or fantasy in her Jackson domain. Life with Granny then comes to be full of punishment, but Wright still then couldn’t contain his mischievous spirit.

In conclusion, Richard Wright’s biography has been broken up into several parts. I’ve discussed three in particular: his childhood in Tennessee, his grade/ high school experience, and his first move to Jackson, Mississippi. Richard Wright observed standards of the society during these particular times of his life. He also got affected by those standards, which made him respond to them, profoundly. He significantly crafted a narrative of his early life that made me have a strong appreciation of his artistry. His autobiography told a story about his experience of the American society in the Jim Crow South, but it also gave life to words, to language to be exact. I recognized that Richard Wright had a gift for writing, and how he had many techniques to bring that writing to life.

Read more

A Role Of Society in The Outsiders and Black Boy

February 11, 2021 by Essay Writer

No matter how hard we try, we will always have a hierarchy social structure in society. Sometimes the high ranking individuals abuse their powers. The book The Outsiders By S.E Hinton is a perfect example of this, you take a look through a not so privileged boy’s eyes named Ponyboy. He lives in a town in Southern Oklahoma where financial segregation is alive and well. The groups are simple, the poor hoods also known as Greasers on the East side, and the rich Socs on the West side. Black Boy by Richard Wright is a autobiography of him growing up without a father in Memphis Tennessee. In both texts, their environment and situation forces them to lose their innocence and grow up earlier then they should of.

Ponyboy (the narrator) was already on the tipping point of losing all innocence when Johnny murdered Bob and had to stay in the abandoned church, but when Johnny died and Dally died that was the cherry on top. In that point of the story the mood had changed from a whimsical fun story to a more serious mood. The number one cause of loss of innocence is realization. The climax in the story when Johnny kills Bob and they have to stay up in a church for a bit, This made Ponyboy think. Think about how Darry cares about him, and he shows tough love to try to discipline him into a bright young man. This is an aha moment by Ponyboy. This setting impacted Pony’s innocence drastically by having him grow up in a harsh environment. People being mugged left and right, fights happening on every corner, drunks, an ordinary child at the time or a Soc would be frightened by these sights but, Ponyboy takes it with grain of salt. The characters force Ponyboy to grow up faster by treating him like an adult, Darry speaks to him like an adult and has respect for him. The soc´s made ponyboy grow up by forcing him to defend himself in dire situations. The conflict in his town is class separation and is also playing a big role in Ponyboy growing up, the socs think they are better than poor hoods/greasers like ponyboy and take advantage of themselves being narcissistic by jumping greasers such as Ponyboy, instead of being childish and running away (the near end of the book) he broke a bottle pointing the jagged edge at the soc´s implying ¨Bring It on¨. In this narrative by S.E hinton you can see the transition in Ponyboy’s innocence from some to none while creating a beautiful concoction of Setting, Climax, Conflict, Resolution, and Character to make a theme of losing innocence can vary depending on your situation.

Black Boy an autobiography by Richard Wright has a shared theme with Outsiders by S.E Hinton. The theme is once again, the lost of innocence before it should’ve been lost because of being underprivileged, or a certain event. In this text it is a mix of both. The character Richard Wright, has had his mother teach him to grow up at an early age when told to go get groceries, even though it seems like a simple task, but there was a sort of roadblock. There was a group of kids that mugged him several times. His mother would not help him but helped him help himself. She gave him a stick and told him to defend himself, and obedient as a puppet he did. This was also the climax in the story, he stood up for himself instead of getting someone else to do it for him. There is a somewhat class division here as well. These kids that mugged him on the way to the grocery store were less financially stable as him so they took his money. The conflict that supports the theme is that he needs to get groceries and there are boys in the way that are going to rob him. This scared him twice but then the third time he realized he needed to defend himself. His mother, the resolution gave him a stick to defend himself. If you were innocent and childlike you would seek refuge instead of trying to retaliate.

There is a common theme of these texts and it is ¨Certain events can induce the loss of innocence as well as the environment” the event that is linked to losing innocence in Blackboy is when his mother raising him alone, Having no fatherly figure can negatively impact Richard. Ponyboy was impacted by his brothers and environment. You do not get to choose how you grow up, your surrounding environment decides when you lose your innocence or even have innocence at all. But when we are younger we want to grow up, when we are older we wish we were kids again, one thing I took from the Outsiders and Black boy is to take take advantage of living in a stable community and hold on to as much innocence as I can before it’s too late.

Thesis Statement: W.8.2.a

Clearly states position with unique, original insight or perspective

Clearly states position with some depth of insight, thought, and/or originality

States position to focus topic

States position that attempts to focus topic

Has unclear position on topic

Development of Topic with Textual Evidence RL/RI.8.1W.8.2.b.W.8.9.a.b.

Your score: 2 Addresses the prompt and provides effective and comprehensive development of the claim or topic that is consistently appropriate to the task by using clear and convincing reasoning supported by relevant textual evidence

Addresses the prompt and provides mostly effective development of the claim or topic that is mostly appropriate to the task, by using clear reasoning supported by relevant textual evidence

Addresses the prompt and provides some development of the claim or topic that is somewhat appropriate to the task, by using some reasoning and text-based evidence

Addresses the prompt and develops the claim or topic and provides minimal development that is limited in its appropriateness to the task by using limited reasoning and text-based evidenceoris a developed, text-based response with little or no awareness of the prompt

Is undeveloped and/or inappropriate to the task

Organization of IdeasW.8.2.c

Your score: 1 Demonstrates purposeful coherence, clarity, and cohesion, making it easy to follow the writer’s progression of ideas

Demonstrates coherence, clarity, and cohesion, making it fairly easy to follow the writer’s progression of ideas

Demonstrates some coherence, clarity, and/or cohesion, making the writer’s progression of ideas usually discernible but not obvious

Demonstrates limited coherence, clarity, and/or cohesion, making the writer’s progression of ideas somewhat unclear

Lacks coherence, clarity, and cohesion

Concluding Statement/ SectionW.8.2.f

Your score: 2 Provides an effective concluding statement or section that follows from and clearly and convincingly supports the information or explanation presented

Provides a mostly effective concluding statement or section that follows from and clearly supports the information or explanation presented

Provides some concluding statement or section that follows from and somewhat supports the information or explanation presented

Provides a minimal concluding statement or section that is limited in its supports the information or explanation presented

Provides no concluding statement or section

Your score: 3 Establishes and maintains an effective style, attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline

Establishes and maintains a mostly effective style, while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline

Has a style that is somewhat effective, generally attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline

Has a style that has limited effectiveness, with limited awareness of the norms of the discipline

Has an inappropriate style, with little to no awareness of the norms of the discipline

Knowledge of Language and ConventionsL.8.1L.8.2L.8.3

Your score: 2 Demonstrates full command of the conventions of standard English at an appropriate level of complexity with no errors in mechanics, grammar, and usage

Demonstrates full command of the conventions of standard English at an appropriate level of complexity. There may be a few minor errors in mechanics, grammar, and usage, but meaning is clear

Demonstrates some command of the conventions of standard English at an appropriate level of complexity. There may be errors in mechanics, grammar, and usage that occasionally impede understanding, but the meaning is generally clear

Demonstrates limited command of the conventions of standard English at an appropriate level of complexity. There may be errors in mechanics, grammar, and usage that often impede understanding

Demonstrates no command of the conventions of standard English. Frequent and varied errors in mechanics, grammar, and usage impede understanding

Read more

Racial Issue in Black Boy Novel

February 11, 2021 by Essay Writer

Innocence Through Death

In 1784, William Blake published Songs of Experience with each of his poems having a visual depiction to accompany it. Although Blake only published a limited amount of copies, each copy was unique in its appearance. Through the visual and textual presentation of “The Little Black Boy,” from Songs of Innocence, William Blake creates a relationship that enlightens the reader. From Copy C of the Library of Congress’ Songs of Innocence and Experience, Blake illustrates the little black boy in a way that correlates with the text of the poem and reveals how adding a visual aspect can reveal more imagination and illumination within the reader. “The Little Black Boy” expresses the effect that racial differences have on children, who are supposed to be innocent at such a young age, but also the ability to overcome the differences and see one another as equals.

On the first page of the poem, above the title “The Little Black Boy,” Blake introduces the poem with an illustration of a mother and her son sitting beneath a tree and the sun shinning in the background. Blake colors the mom and the son black, correlating with the first lines, “My mother bore me in the southern wild, / And I am black, but O! my soul is white.” The white soul demonstrates how Blake believes that children are innocent because of their young age and inexperience, but the fact that the boy is aware that he is different and is conscious of his skin color, shows that associated racial differences have tainted his innocence. As the little black boy struggles with race and his self-hatred towards the color of his skin, his mother consoles him and gives an explanation as to why he is the way he is.

In the illustration above the text, the mother explains the reasoning as she and her son sit in the shade, beneath the tree, with the sun rising in the background. She explains that the reason why they have a darker skin color is because the sun’s rays are actually God’s “beams of love” and that being black is a sign of God’s love. In the picture, the sky is clear, letting all of the light from the sun come towards the earth and towards the little black boy. Yet the boy and his mother are sitting beneath the tree, which is the only thing blocking the sun’s rays. The tree that they are sitting under, which is shading them from the sun and the heat, symbolizes how the impact of society’s view on race is blocking some of God’s love from reaching them and how the black mother and son would rather take in less of the sun’s rays in order to be closer in color to the English people and avoid racial differences.

Beyond the main focus of the drawing, hilly plains travel into the distance without a tree in sight. The lack of trees foreshadows how society’s authority will not taint the boy forever. In the future, there will be nothing separating the innocent child from accepting all of God’s love without having to shelter himself because of his self-hatred.

The drawing and the text being separate from each other also shows how the drawing only depicts a snapshot of the boy’s life. The little black boy is blackened from having to succumb to society’s authority that is looming over children. But as the mother comforts him, it is revealed that the struggle with internalized racism will not last forever. Skin color is only apparent on the outside, and eventually, the boy realizes that “the cloud will vanish” and white and black will be equal.

As the poem transitions from life to what happens after death, a new page is created with another illustration below the text. By creating a physical break in the poem, with the turning of pages, Blake is able to emphasize the difference between life and death, which is not the case in The Norton Anthology English Literature, where the poem continues to flow. The break in the poem also demonstrates how the society’s view on race changes and is nonexistent after death. After death, the children are cleansed and considered fully innocent once again. In addition to the break in the page, the placements of the illustrations also demonstrate the different meanings of the pictures.

The picture on the first page is located above the text, representing how some views are only on the surface. While the picture on the second page is below the text, representing how other views have a deeper, and more true meaning. The first illustration has to do with how society views the little black boy, due to the color of his skin. This view is a shallow opinion that does not take into account the boy as a whole, but the second picture shows a view that is more valuable. This picture shows that despite what the boys look like on the outside, they should be viewed based on what is on the inside and be treated as equals.

In the second illustration, there are two boys—the little black boy and the English child—standing before Jesus under a willow tree. The willow tree represents how despite past racial differences are looming over them, the boys are equal and innocent children of God in the presence of Jesus. Although this copy does not continue the picture within the text, such as copies E, L, R, T, V, Y, Z and AA, the vines of the tree go up and around the text, almost encompassing it. This demonstrates how the past is not able to fully affect what happens after death. And that after death, there is a new beginning in which all are innocent again.

The innocence after death is written only within the last three stanzas of the poem, on the second page of the poem, which goes along with the drawing below the text. In the picture, there are sheep in the background, which represents how Jesus—depicted as a shepherd—is constantly watching and protecting the innocent. Also, the black boy and the white boy are both colored white, showing how skin color and racial differences do not exist in the eyes of God. The color white is also a symbol of purity and innocence and God believes children to be innocent, no matter what their skin color is because the perception of one’s skin color only has meaning when someone puts meaning behind it. Otherwise, it is just a color. By taking away the color from the two boys and making them both white, Blake is able to “cleanse the doors of perception,” and create the two as equals. And as equals, there are no barriers prohibiting the two children from loving one another.

Blake uses the text and the visual depiction of the poem to allow the reader to get involved with the poem on multiple levels. The reader has to use multiple senses, revealing the infinite possibilities that this poem has to offer. With the text and the illustration going hand-in-hand, “The Little Black Boy” demonstrates how different views such as race and issues with identity can cause a child to lose part of his innocence and become subject to unwanted authority. And from then on, it is only possible to regain the innocence lost through death.

Read more

A Significant Message Of The Black Boy Novel

February 11, 2021 by Essay Writer

Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American poet who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. Emerson read the works of Blake, Coleridge and Wordsworth, bringing many of their ideas into his own writings and to many others. After understanding that Emerson views the imagination as a “sixth sense”, it is a whole lot easier to understand poems written by authors during that time period. The Emersonian Imagination is most prominent throughout poems such “The Little Black Boy” and “The Chimney Sweeper” by William Blake.

Emerson was a prominent writer in the Romantic Era. Romanticism can best be defined as the focus of the rise of the individual, including an individual’s imagination. An individual’s imagination helps them to reflect upon nature and themselves, as well as helping to preserve their experience and insight. The Emersonian perspective of imagination can best be defined as a second sight, or sixth sense, that allows us to connect deeper with the world and ourselves (Emerson p.3). The things we interpret from this sixth sense can be communicated best through poetry. Poetry uses figurative language to access truths deeper than facts in nature and human nature through imagination (Emerson p.1). Poetry allows us to see goodness and the truth. Emerson states that “poetry is the perpetual endeavor to express the spirit of the thing” (p. 2). Literally meaning that poetry is the never ending search to try and be able to communicate our souls. It is the spontaneous overflow of our feelings, while we are spiritually searching our lives for our purpose.

One poet in particular, William Blake wrote several pieces that had a significant influence on how Emerson came to perceive his ideas of imagination and poetry. When reading these poems, it becomes clear that this is where Emerson derived his philosophy from. “The Little Black Boy” from Songs of Innocence, provides a particularly good example of the Emersonian philosophy of imagination. The poem is told from the perspective of an African-American child, in which the concept of racism is being discussed. The boy says” and I am black, but O! my soul is white” (Blake p.3). The child does not know what racism is, and he does not understand why he is not loved the same as a white boy, he only sees the difference in their skin color. He begins to talk with his mother about this subject, and she tells him that “ when our souls have learn’d the heat to bear…we shall hear his voice, saying ‘come out from the grove, my love & care, and round my golden tent like lambs rejoice’” (Blake p.3). Meaning that everyone will be loved equally in heaven and he says that “ When I from black and he from white cloud free, and round the tent of God like lambs we joy, I’ll shade him from the heat..” (Blake p.3). The boy hopes that one day he will be able to be a servant to the white boy in heaven.

At first it may not be easy to identify how this poem relates to Emersonian imagination, but after a close reading it becomes evident. This young boy is pouring out his feelings in this poem. He is trying to understand his life, and why he is the one to be hated on for his skin color. The boy is reflecting on the cruelty of human nature and himself. This poem is using the boy’s imagination to access the deeper truths of the world, the horrible truth that racism exists. In the little boy’s case, goodness can be seeked out through his mother, since she is speaking from an experienced point of view. He discovers an ugly truth about the world, yet he also discovers that there is goodness to that ugly truth, and that truth comes from God in heaven. The boy is trying to express his feelings about the oppression he is facing, he is communicating what is in his soul through this poem when he asks why he is not loved like the white boy is. The boy is essentially soul searching through this poem, trying to find his identity and his purpose in society by questioning the nature of humans.

Another poem that Blake has written that provides a good insight on the Emersonian perspective of imagination is “The Chimney Sweeper”. This poem is also being told from the point of view of a child. This child is also facing some oppression from society, he/she is being forced into a dangerous job as a chimney sweeper. Back during Blake’s time it was common for children to hold jobs such as chimney sweepers because they were small enough to fit inside the chimneys. The child was “crying ‘weep! weep!’ in notes of woe” asking “Where are thy father & mother? say?” (Blake p.6). The child is left outside in the cold, sad, wondering where his/her parents are. It turns out that the parents, “gone up to the church to pray” (Blake p. 6). The parents are praying and giving thanks because they think that their child is healthy and happy. The child says that his/her parents had “clothed me in the clothes of death, And they taught me to sing the notes of woe” (Blake p.6). The parents had put their child in this job to provide for the family, while they both stayed home. The child has not disclosed with his/her parents that he/she is in fact not healthy or happy. The child states “ And because I am happy & dance & sing, They think they have done me no injury, And are gone to praise God & his Priest & King, Who make up a heaven of our misery.” The child is truly miserable and wish that his/her parents weren’t so oblivious and naive.

This poem is really similar to “The Little Black Boy” and how it relates to the Emersonian Imagination. The child is expressing his/her true feelings about their life in this poem. The child is trying to understand why his/her parents cannot understand that what they are doing is not right. Similar to “The Little Black Boy”, this child is also reflecting on the cruelty of human nature. The child is beginning to realize how inhumane society can really be. This is the truth that is revealed to him/her once he/she begins to search for their purpose in life. This poem is depressing because you can sympathize with the child and their misery. Having to risk their life everyday to provide for their family, when in reality the parents should be providers? That is truly sad. But it is the ugly truth of how the world is, the society functioned that way, and saw nothing wrong with it. This poem is using the child’s thoughts to access the deeper truths of the world and the way it works. This child is using their “sixth sense” or their imagination in order to connect deeper with themselves and the world. They goodness in this poem is that the child begins to realize that there is something wrong with how things are working out, and so maybe that child can make a change in his/her world by bringing this to other people’s attentions.

Emerson believes that imagination is essentially our sixth sense, and is the basis for poetry, especially Romantic poetry. After reading authors such as Blake, Coleridge, and Wordsworth, Emerson was able to better cultivate his ideas and base a whole entire movement off of it. The Emersonian philosophy is honestly very accurate and can be applied to nearly all poems and is most accurately portrayed through poems written by authors in the Romantic Era. Poems such as “The Little Black Boy” and “The Chimney Sweeper” are very good examples because they were both written by Blake, who had a large influence on Emerson. Without Emerson, the Romantic Era and the Transcendentalist movement may have never happened and literature would not be the same as it is today.

Read more

The Depth of Language in Black Boy

February 11, 2021 by Essay Writer

Richard Wright’s novel Black Boy is not only a story about one man’s struggle to find freedom and intellectual happiness, it is a story about his discovery of language’s inherent strengths and weaknesses. And the ways in which its power can separate one soul from another and one class from another. Throughout the novel, he moves from fear to respect, to abuse, to fear of language in a cycle of education which might be likened to a tumultuous love affair.

From the very beginning of the novel we see young Richard realize the power of language when he follows his father’s literal directions and kills a cat he has befriended(12). Although he knows that this is not really what his father wants him to do, following these directions explicitly temporarily gives him a sort of power over his father’s wishes. At the same time it reveals a weakness in his father, ie., his lack of control over language gives him less power. Later, when Richard must defend himself against attackers who repeatedly try to steal his mother’s money(21), he learns a new and symbolic lesson: Victory can come when one has money, words (the grocery list), and a big stick to defend one’s self.

His next experience with language frightens him away from it. He becomes “blind with anger”(29) when he is forced to clean four letter words from places he has written them. He does not understand how, in his innocence, he could have misused something which had only done him good in the past. After this experience, Richard shies away from the use of powerful language for many years. In one scene he refuses to blot the ink from a stack of envelopes(36), fearing, perhaps, the power of the written word, and in some way fearing that this action will bring back memories of the hateful day he had to blot out his own words from walls of his town.

Although his love of language is soon reinforced when Ella reads him the wonderful story of Bluebeard and His Seven Wives(44), he is severely rebuked for it-which proves to him again that language can be dangerous. He says that his response to the story Ella reads him is an “emotional response”(47), and that it carries a “sharp, frightening, and almost painful excitement”(48) with it. This gives him further respect for language and its power. At the same time it again brings fear, because his aunt tells him that novels are the “Devil’s work.”

This fear stays with him through the next few years. So much so that he cannot even write his name on the blackboard. When he raises his arm to write his name, his mind goes blank and empty-he cannot even remember his name at this point, much less write it. He continues to ignore in language that which he does not like, does not understand, or does not agree with. He uses its power sparingly: writing letters to relatives when his mother is sick, and reading only sporadically, until a new job teaches him that ignorance of language does not work in his interests either. When he is selling newspapers that he has not been reading, he is advised by an older black man that he should read what he is selling. It seems impossible that in all the time he has been selling these papers he has not yet read one of them, and so one must believe that he has unconsciously been ignoring the fact that these papers are written by the Ku Klux Klan(153).

Now that he can no longer ignore language and its power, it seems that once again he must turn the written word to his own uses, abusing it in order to fend for himself. To this end he begins selling insurance to black sharecroppers who are too illiterate and uneducated to know that they do not need it. He does this knowingly, understanding that he is robbing these people through his use of language, of power-he is using a power against the powerless that they cannot resist because they do not understand.

Despite his self-loathing over these incidences of fraud, he continues to pursue a use of language for his own benefit. He publishes a story in three installments (even though he is not paid for these stories, this is a success), and decides he wants to write novels for a living. As he moves along this course he finds himself faced again with the fear of language. This time though, it is others who fear language-his language. The case in point is a speech which he wishes to deliver at his graduation from school (207). The principal summons him to his office and informs Richard that he must give a speech which is pre-written, and that he cannot give his own. Richard claims that he has the right to give the speech he has written, and when the principal balks, Richard realizes that he has actually frightened him with the power his words may have over the whites who are coming to the graduation. Richard does not want to face the fact that his words may have an adverse effect on the audience, he still shies away from fully understanding the power of language, saying he wants to learn, but there are some things he’d rather not know(208).

This power over language puts Richard outside of the law, or so he feels. As he says later in the story, “I no longer felt bound by the laws which whites and blacks were supposed to obey in common, I was outside those laws”(237). In this new form Richard begins to devour reading material, as if he is forming within himself a new sort of creature, a creature who wishes only to read and read more. He uses a co-worker’s library card and checks out book after book, something alien to not only the blacks who surround him, but the whites as well. His suspicion that words are the ultimate power is confirmed when he reads a book by H.L. Mencken and realizes that the man is fighting with his words, using them as weapons, “as one would use a club”(193).

When he finally escapes to the North, and leaves the “Southern Night[s]” behind, we see a new Richard. This new Richard is now fully exploiting his use of language. We see this when he takes an exam to enter the Postal Service. He no longer tries to hide his knowledge of language in the North, but instead begins to fully explore it. Even the whites around him don’t read, and are amazed to find that he reads the American Mercury. He also begins to use language to learn about other things. He studies books on social issues which are addressed through studies of sociology and psychology and calls these his “most important discoveries”(327). They are his most important discoveries in this second half of the book because they will soon lead him to embrace new social concepts.

This latest immersion in reading isolates Richard, as he is sucked deeper into language and further away from the common people who surround him. Of this condition he writes “Emotionally, I was withdrawn from the objective world; my desires floated loosely within the walls of my consciousness, contained and controlled”(328). He enters an almost mystical realm, and he is “stupefied by its dazzling magic,” and “awed by [its] vast, delicate, intricate, and psychological structure”(332).

He joins a black literary group and finds that even they are far below the realm in which he resides. He finds them to be completely preoccupied with sex, as if they are a baser form of life than himself. He despises them for this and feels that they will never really live the way they should. With this more arrogant attitude he again turns to language for money, abusing his knowledge of it to rip off insurance customers who themselves can barely survive. At this point his arrogance reaches a penultimate height. He considers a woman he has been sleeping with: “I stared at her and wondered just what a life like hers meant in the scheme of things, and I came to the conclusion that it meant absolutely nothing”(341). To be fair, he has also decided that his own life means nothing. But his actions give the lie to this statement. With an objective view that could only seem to come from on high he continues to place himself above the rest of America, implying that he alone knows that the “Negro” and white worlds cannot live a full and human life until the white world can come to terms with the black one.

At this point in the novel Richard begins to discover communism and its wide open arms in the black community. He begins reading communist magazines with the same vigor he once read the great white authors of the past. Their message entrances him and he seems to go through a sea change-he feels that he has at last found something good he can do with his power over language. But he finds, in the end, that even these communists he wants so badly to help fear language more than anyone-seeing it as a tool of the intellectual and not as something which can reach the common people. He panders to their belief and agrees that “writing is not important”(388) even though he knows better. But even this will not convince them that he is one them; they accuse him of “talking like a book”(389). Even though he tells them he is a common man and sweeps streets for a living, they will not truly accept him within their group.

In the end, Richard Wright finds that he is isolated from the rest of society by his love of, and power over, language. He finds that those who write are individuals who can never truly be part of the larger family which is their culture. And although he truly wants to be a part of his culture and brought into the fold, he will be forever separated from the common people by vast gulfs of understanding and reality. His trail of discovery has led him down a path of no return. Now that he has power over language, he can never go back.

Read more

The role of Granny in “Black Boy”

February 11, 2021 by Essay Writer

Isaac Newton, a prominent English physicist and mathematician, devised his 3rd law of motion: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. In the autobiography Black Boy by Richard Wright, a key influence in Richard’s life is his grandmother, referred to as Granny throughout the book, who incessantly tries to make Richard embrace God; her attempts, though, are futile with someone as recalcitrant as Richard. In human terms, Granny and Richard’s interactions substantiate Newton’s 3rd law. When Granny tries to make Richard conform to her lifestyle, Richard retaliates and rebels just as vigorously.

Granny is fervently religious, her lifestyle metaphorically deemed a regime: a word which according to the Oxford Dictionary designates “a government, especially an authoritarian one”. While Granny is not the only family member to try to influence Richard, she is notable because she does so ceaselessly and formidably. Even though Richard’s mother is religious, she pales in comparison to Granny, who might be considered a religious fanatic. The first example of Granny’s imposition of religion onto her family members is when Richard’s mother “announced that we were going to to move, that we were going back to West Helena. She had since tired of the strict religious routine of Granny’s home” (Wright 59). From an early age, Richard is disillusioned towards Granny’s lifestyle; he is not fond of how she deems Ella’s storytelling and books the “Devil stuff” (39) and bans him from her books, which are his sole source of stimulation. He also dislikes Granny’s corporal punishment which is often doled out; this is portrayed when Granny,“with all the fury of her sixty-odd-year-old body”(41), beats Richard for mindlessly uttering a vulgar phrase. Richard believes that leaving West Helena will rid him of Granny, who is a thorn in his side and only one more adult to berate and beat him. But fate did not proclaim it so.

Unfortunately, Richard and his mother wind up back at Granny’s door when Richard’s mother suffers a inopportune stroke and is unable to support herself and her children. Granny still has not ceased her way of life and continues to urge Richard to accept God into his life. Richard however is indifferent to Granny’s rules and “[shirks] as many of the weekday services as possible” (111). Richard’s blatant disregard for Granny’s religious routine is displayed when he describes being hauled to church: “During the passionate prayers and the chanted hymns I would sit squirming on a bench, longing to grow up so I could run away, listening indifferently to the theme of cosmic annihilation, loving the hymns for their sensual caress but at last casting furtive glances at Granny and wondering when it would be safe for me to stretch out on the bench and go to sleep”(112). Richard gives up on Granny’s mandates when he finds praying “a nuisance” (120), and begins to write hymns to appease Granny to pass the time, but is unsuccessful. One day he writes a story, and feels extremely accomplished. Richard decides he wants to pursue writing, and is ecstatic when a local newspaper publishes one of his stories. When Granny finds out about this she calls Richard’s story “the Devil’s work”(168). Richard becomes even more encouraged to write and prove Granny wrong.

Granny pressuring Richard to give his life to God makes Richard more rebellious in turn, and he starts to assert himself rather than silently and discreetly defying Granny. Richard lives in poverty, and desperately wishes to get a job so he can support himself with more food, better clothing, and textbooks. Richard “argues that Saturdays were the only days on which I could earn any worth-while sum”(126). Granny responds to this by quoting Scripture and saying that working on Saturdays is taboo because it is the Lord’s Day. Another instance where Richard stands up for himself is when he refuses to accept a beating and “nimbly [ducks]” (134). This enrages Granny and other family members, as Granny falls backwards and gets herself lodged in the porch, but Richard declares himself innocent and says that it is Granny’s fault. Finally, in the ultimate act of opposition, Richard says,“That old church of your is messing up my life” (144), and leaves Granny’s house against her wishes in order to work. Richard reaching the last straw, leaving Granny, and expressing his distaste for her church shows the reader that Richard is becoming increasingly independent as soon as he breaks free of the suffocating noose Granny has confined him with.

Richard’s opposition towards Granny is like a forest fire. The flames start quietly and unnoticeably with Richard’s silent dissent and escalate into blatant objection, gaining more power and growing stronger. Going back to Newton’s 3rd Law, you could say that every time Granny tries to push Richard into listening to her rules, Richard pulls away in the opposite direction, much like two magnets of the same pole. Without Granny’s pushes, Richard never would’ve pulled away and become the unconstrained person he is. Even though Richard considers Granny’s influence negative, it is perversely positive because it sets Richard on a journey throughout his adolescence. By the end of this journey, Richard has bloomed and has found himself and his purpose earlier than most people do.

Read more

Book Review of Richard Wright’s, Black Boy

February 11, 2021 by Essay Writer

Richard Wright was a young man of extreme intelligence and openness to speak his mind. Richards writings in “Black Boy” are a collection of his alienation, not only from white society, but from his own people. In Richards boyhood there was virtually no chance for a personality such as his to develop freely.

Everything conspired against personal freedom, not only the white social structure, but the black as well. Richard was treated brutally and tyrannically at home in order to prevent his being treated the same way or worse outside of home and especially in the white society. His family tried to enforce a code of conduct on him, so when in the presence of whites he would not be harmed. The family was trying to convey to Richard that black children must never strive to be more than black children; if they did, not only would they suffer a terrible fate by the white people, but their families would as well. This was a method of limiting ones individuality, fortunate!

for Richard he overcame and aspired to become a great writer. Richards struggle for freedom and individuality started at a young age with the brutality from his family and the black society. We see this very early when Richard is beaten, almost to death, by his mother and father for setting the house on fire. On could argue that the beaten was justified, but the extreme method of this beaten can not be justified. It appears that Richard was more afraid of the punishment he would receive from his family, rather then the punishmenwouldt he receive from the white people. He shows this when he is fighting with white boys on his way to the grocery store and his mother keeps sending him back to purchase the groceries. “I have the choice of being beaten at home or away from home” (p20) He chose to fight the white boys rather then get beaten by his mother, this helped build his individuality. This brutality within the family continued with other members of his family after his mother became ill. This was to ensure that he learn the code of conduct that he should follow towards white people.

Richards greatest struggles were with Granny and Aunt Addie, as they tried to control his individuality. Richard attends the Seventh-Day Adventist school taught by his Aunt Addie and rebels against its strict rules. While in school he was faulted and punished by his Aunt Addie for throwing walnut shells on the floor, which he had not done. Richard stood by his street gang code of not telling on someone for faults they committed, because of this he was punished again. Richard did not excel in school while his Aunt was his teacher. Once Richard transfers to the public Jim Hill School, he excels academically and gains friends. Richard was finally given up as a lost cause by his family; they expect nothing of him anymore, so he was free to do as he chooses. Richard now is no longer one who struggles against his family in order to win their approval, so he turns his rebellion to the outside.

Richard growing awareness of a world outside his own, starts with inquires of his mother on the subject of white people. Richard feels that he may be late in learning to sense white people because he never really thought of them, they just existed. Also, the fact that “tardiness in learning to sense white people as white people came from the fact that many of my relatives were white – looking people” (p27) His mother tries to protect him from seeing his condition for what it is. Richards mothers and familys efforts to make him comply with the standards set by a white society succeed only insofar as Richard could take care of himself. They failed, however, in keeping him unconscious of his own individuality. His inquires continue of black and white people. Richards openness of asking questions and making statements to whites lead to a view of the brutality and rejection of blacks by whites. This restricted the ability of the Negro to strive for individuality.

Richards home and school life have prepared him, psychologically, for the shock of working with whites

and the limitation of his individuality in the white society. This preparation would lead to a tolerance of the white’s racist arrogance and brutality. Through his many jobs working for whites, he was never able to totally comply to their demands and treatment. Richard was beaten up by whites passing in a car; he was fired from on job for witnessing the beating of a black woman by whites; he was tortured by two white co-workers in an optical house – and in all these cases, he was never allowed to respond as a Individual. In order to survive, Richard needed to bow and scrape in the presence of white people. “White people make it their business to watch niggers” (p217) Therefor, it is important for black people to be aware of the expressions on their face or in their eyes and to think before speaking or acting towards white people.

Richards friend Griggs summaries the action towards whites: “When youre in front of white people, think before you act, think before you speak. Your way of doing things is all right among our people, but not for white people. They wont stand for it.” (p218) An example of this was when Richard gets a ride from a car full of white boys, they asked “Wanna drink, boy?” (p214) and Richards reply “Oh, no!” (p214) This did not follow the code of conduct towards white people, and therefor he was beaten. This simple reply did not follow the code of conduct because it did not address the white boys as “Sir.” Richard had numerous physical hungers (food), but he also had numerous sociological hungers. One of these hungers was to become respected as an individual.

Once he knew what it meant to be a Negro, his hunger for individuality grow. “But to feel that there were feelings denied me, that the very breath of life itself was beyond my reach, that more than anything else hurt, wounded me.” (p296) Richard was a victim of white peoples racist arrogance, just as he was also a victim of Grannys and Aunt Addies terrible righteousness. The difference is the response he was able to give. At home he could fight back or argue his side of the story and even if it led nowhere, he had a small satisfaction of responding like a human being. This response meant that he had more individual freedom while at home, but he was stripped of his individuality and his manhood while working with the white people. The brutality at home and from the black community was harsher than the brutality in the white peoples world. This was not because of the physical treatment but because of the fact that this treatment was with people of his own family and race. Richards goal was to get enough money to leave the South for a better opportunity in the North. This was achieved when he realizes his limitation in the relationships between blacks and whites in the South. He learned how to play the role that his family and white people expect of him. Richard used the code of conduct towards whites to achieve his goal and his individuality.

Read more

Opposites Don’t Attract: Granny in “Black Boy”

June 18, 2019 by Essay Writer

Isaac Newton, a prominent English physicist and mathematician, devised his 3rd law of motion: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. In the autobiography Black Boy by Richard Wright, a key influence in Richard’s life is his grandmother, referred to as Granny throughout the book, who incessantly tries to make Richard embrace God; her attempts, though, are futile with someone as recalcitrant as Richard. In human terms, Granny and Richard’s interactions substantiate Newton’s 3rd law. When Granny tries to make Richard conform to her lifestyle, Richard retaliates and rebels just as vigorously.

Granny is fervently religious, her lifestyle metaphorically deemed a regime: a word which according to the Oxford Dictionary designates “a government, especially an authoritarian one”. While Granny is not the only family member to try to influence Richard, she is notable because she does so ceaselessly and formidably. Even though Richard’s mother is religious, she pales in comparison to Granny, who might be considered a religious fanatic. The first example of Granny’s imposition of religion onto her family members is when Richard’s mother “announced that we were going to to move, that we were going back to West Helena. She had since tired of the strict religious routine of Granny’s home” (Wright 59). From an early age, Richard is disillusioned towards Granny’s lifestyle; he is not fond of how she deems Ella’s storytelling and books the “Devil stuff” (39) and bans him from her books, which are his sole source of stimulation. He also dislikes Granny’s corporal punishment which is often doled out; this is portrayed when Granny,“with all the fury of her sixty-odd-year-old body”(41), beats Richard for mindlessly uttering a vulgar phrase. Richard believes that leaving West Helena will rid him of Granny, who is a thorn in his side and only one more adult to berate and beat him. But fate did not proclaim it so.

Unfortunately, Richard and his mother wind up back at Granny’s door when Richard’s mother suffers a inopportune stroke and is unable to support herself and her children. Granny still has not ceased her way of life and continues to urge Richard to accept God into his life. Richard however is indifferent to Granny’s rules and “[shirks] as many of the weekday services as possible” (111). Richard’s blatant disregard for Granny’s religious routine is displayed when he describes being hauled to church: “During the passionate prayers and the chanted hymns I would sit squirming on a bench, longing to grow up so I could run away, listening indifferently to the theme of cosmic annihilation, loving the hymns for their sensual caress but at last casting furtive glances at Granny and wondering when it would be safe for me to stretch out on the bench and go to sleep”(112). Richard gives up on Granny’s mandates when he finds praying “a nuisance” (120), and begins to write hymns to appease Granny to pass the time, but is unsuccessful. One day he writes a story, and feels extremely accomplished. Richard decides he wants to pursue writing, and is ecstatic when a local newspaper publishes one of his stories. When Granny finds out about this she calls Richard’s story “the Devil’s work”(168). Richard becomes even more encouraged to write and prove Granny wrong.

Granny pressuring Richard to give his life to God makes Richard more rebellious in turn, and he starts to assert himself rather than silently and discreetly defying Granny. Richard lives in poverty, and desperately wishes to get a job so he can support himself with more food, better clothing, and textbooks. Richard “argues that Saturdays were the only days on which I could earn any worth-while sum”(126). Granny responds to this by quoting Scripture and saying that working on Saturdays is taboo because it is the Lord’s Day. Another instance where Richard stands up for himself is when he refuses to accept a beating and “nimbly [ducks]” (134). This enrages Granny and other family members, as Granny falls backwards and gets herself lodged in the porch, but Richard declares himself innocent and says that it is Granny’s fault. Finally, in the ultimate act of opposition, Richard says,“That old church of your is messing up my life” (144), and leaves Granny’s house against her wishes in order to work. Richard reaching the last straw, leaving Granny, and expressing his distaste for her church shows the reader that Richard is becoming increasingly independent as soon as he breaks free of the suffocating noose Granny has confined him with.

Richard’s opposition towards Granny is like a forest fire. The flames start quietly and unnoticeably with Richard’s silent dissent and escalate into blatant objection, gaining more power and growing stronger. Going back to Newton’s 3rd Law, you could say that every time Granny tries to push Richard into listening to her rules, Richard pulls away in the opposite direction, much like two magnets of the same pole. Without Granny’s pushes, Richard never would’ve pulled away and become the unconstrained person he is. Even though Richard considers Granny’s influence negative, it is perversely positive because it sets Richard on a journey throughout his adolescence. By the end of this journey, Richard has bloomed and has found himself and his purpose earlier than most people do.

Read more
Order Creative Sample Now
Choose type of discipline
Choose academic level
  • High school
  • College
  • University
  • Masters
  • PhD
Deadline

Page count
1 pages
$ 10

Price