The Price of Wisdom: Richard Wright's autobiography Black Boy. This essay is about Wright's "impact of acquiring wisdom in a world that is unwise."

Essay by tld007High School, 12th gradeA+, December 2004

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The Price of Wisdom

While most people believe knowledge and wisdom to be interchangeable, they are very different. Knowledge is the understanding gained through experience or study, while wisdom is the ability to use that information to suit ones' purpose. The more aware a person is, the more wise they are able to become. In Richard Wright's autobiography Black Boy, he demonstrates the impact of acquiring wisdom in a world that is unwise. As a small child, his naivety gets him into a lot of trouble. He burns his grandmother's house down when he is four, and decides to run away. Due to his naivety, his first choice to hide is underneath that very house. Many other events happen in his youth, causing his knowledge and wisdom to grow through the years.

Richard's wisdom began to develop through violence at a young age. His immediate family, save his brother, beat him a lot.

One could argue that the beatings was justified, as his family was trying to stunt his individuality and his personality to keep him from getting beat or killed by white folks later on in his life. Richard vowed never to be beaten again after he was wrongfully "punished" by his Aunt Addie in front of her class. "I was sure of one thing: I would not be beaten by her again. I had often been painfully beaten, but almost always I had felt that the beatings were somehow right and sensible, that I was in the wrong. Now, for the first time, I felt the equal of an adult; I knew I had been beaten for a reason that was not right." When he returned home that day, his Aunt Addie attempted to beat him again. His first act of defiance involved him grabbing a...