Violence In Richard Wright's Black Boy

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In Richard Wright’s, Black Boy, the Jim Crow south is used as a catalyst to establish the violent and beleaguered upbringings of the author. Forced to endure ferocity from not only racist southerners, northerners but from his family as well, Wright’s autobiography aids in depicting the general experiences of African Americans raised in a vicious setting during a time of segregation. This idea of one voice for many individuals is further emphasized through the title of the autobiography, as any single black boy could fit the description of the hardship and injustice of a society that has yet to embrace racial equality. Unaccepted amongst different groups of people including his family, friends and political factions, the isolated nature of the …show more content…
While Wright is unwilling to abide by societal and family pre-dispositions, his acts of independent thinking are seen as a form of defiance. With a low toleration for Wright’s liberal attitude, many groups of people respond with verbal and physical acts of aggression. One violent relationship Wright primarily focuses on is that with his family, particularly between the female figures in his life. Wright’s Grandmother, Aunt Addie as well as his mother use physical discipline as a means to punish Wright for what they deem actions of disobedience, however, the relationship between Wright and his mother is vital in understanding the author. Sadism shaped Wright from a young age; Wright stating, “I knew that my life was revolving about a world …show more content…
When Wright defies expectations in the eyes of whites, they physically assault him with objects including whiskey bottles. When Wright disobeys the opinions and outlooks of the Communist Party, the political faction criticize and condemn him and make his life incredibly tough. Acts of rebellion often instigate the violence brought about towards Wright, which physically and mentally abuse Wright. However, Wright’s boldness is derived from his inability to accept a position in society that is undignified. The progression of the autobiography systematically projects the different phases of Wright in the novel; early in the author’s life Wright refuses to acknowledge his inability to assimilate into society as flaws. While Wright embraces the unfairness of civilization, he lacks the passion to enact change in the world—“yes, the whites were as miserable as their black victims, I thought. F this country can’t find its way to a human path, if it can’t inform conduct with a deep sense of life, then all of us, black as well as white, are going down the same drain.” The tone of Wright echoes one of reflection as opposed to antagonism, stressing the evolution of Wright as an individual. The author’s adoption of writing as a means of conveying ideas and issues raises the concern of whether the oppression Wright

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