Richard Wright 's Black Boy Essay

1246 Words Dec 12th, 2014 5 Pages
Richard Wright’s memoir Black Boy is both a chilling and humanizing memoir that details the struggles of a young African American man in the Jim Crow south. Throughout the narrative, we witness Wright’s young self ‘Richard’ evolve. One of Wrights purposes in this memoir is explore the oppression of ideas of African Americans in the south. In the beginning of the text, Richard Wright is very curious, almost dangerously curious. However, by the end of part one, he has become very cautious and has come to checking himself before saying anything. Wright dramatizes this transformation through his use of the motif of the oppression of freedoms of ideas.
` Towards the beginning of the narrative, Wright is a young boy that is dangerously curious, a trait Wright illustrates through the motif of oppression of ideas. While young Richard is loitering outside a neighboring saloon, curious about what is going on inside, a black man pulls Richard into the saloon. The author writes “The tipsy men and women yelled with delight. Somebody tried to jam a cigar into my mouth, but I twisted out of the way.” (20) The ‘tipsy’ men and woman yelling with delight reveals how dangerous the situation was as Richard was surrounded by drunk adults, seeming to enjoy Richard being in the saloon. In addition someone tries to ‘jam’ a cigar into Wright’s mouth, also revealing how dangerous, almost hostile, the situation was. Wright uses the motif of oppression to show how reckless the adults in the saloon…

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