Black Boy by Richard Wright

Essay by rainiemeimeiHigh School, 11th gradeA+, June 2009

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Set in the early 1900’s, Richard Wright presents his early childhood through his early adulthood in an autobiography called Black Boy. In this novel, he touches upon various topics applicable to him in his society: racism, individualism, violence and trouble, the fight for equality in education and family needs, and poverty. Racism is a prevalent topic studied in literature not only because it is often disregarded today, but because it was such a serious issue to the blacks in the 1900’s. Wright writes poignantly about his experiences as a little boy - having to starve, work hard, fail, and slowly find himself as a young adult. He shares his life experiences to show the vast issues of racism and the problems around it, and also as a reminder to live life to the fullest no matter how impossible it may seem.

In the beginning, Richard Wright appears to be a curious little boy.

Because he is black, his family is given very limited opportunities. The family works hard to support each other, but when Richard’s father leaves the family, they begin to starve and suffer living in a broken, helpless and unstable family. As he grows older, he realizes that he must find a job and learn to support himself. He and his family constantly move, and he feels unsettled because he has no permanent home. At one point, he even gets sent to an orphanage because his mom is unable to nurture him. Richard experiences violence around him. He longs to fight for equal rights and opportunities, and have a good education because he has an affinity for reading and writing. He dreams of becoming a writer of his daily life experiences one day. Richard also expresses his desire to become a unique individual in his society, and not...