"The Man who was almost a man"

Essay by Anonymous UserCollege, UndergraduateA, April 2007

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"The Man Who Was Almost a Man" The Unfolding of his Character Through out each young boy's life, many experiences help him to mature into a young man. In Richard Wright's short story, The Man Who Was Almost a Man, the main character Dave is a seventeen-year-old young man. He wants to be thought of as man. Instead, people in the town and his parents still treat him like he is a boy. Dave believes that if he owns a gun, people will treat him like a real man. In his efforts to show his manhood, Dave displays stubbornness, persuasiveness, and deceptive actions.

First, in Wright's short story, Dave is extremely stubborn. He believes that in order for him to be considered to be a man, he must stand up for himself during each confrontation. This is seen when he discusses the possibility of buying a gun with his mother.

His mother yells, Git outta here! Don yuh talk t me bout no gun! Yuh a fool! (1414). He refuses to take no for an answer. Instead of accepting the fact that he isn't quite old enough to have a gun, he continues to beg her for a gun. Likewise, Dave again shows his stubbornness when he hides the gun under his pillow. His mother had given him strict instructions. She tells him, Yuh bring it straight back t me, yuh hear? It be fer Pa (1414). Here, he knows that once he relinquishes his control over the gun, he will never get it back. In each situation, Dave is trying to establish his manhood through his stubbornness.

Secondly, Dave is a very persuasive young character. One of his methods of persuasion is persistence. Near the beginning of the story when he wants to borrow Mr. Joe's...