The Struggle In Richard Wright's Black Boy

Superior Essays
As Kim Il-Sung once said, “the oppressed [people] can liberate themselves only through struggle.” In the book Black Boy, Richard Wright illustrates what life was like for an African American in the early 1900’s. This novel follows Richard as he grows up and finds his way in the Deep South, where racism runs rampant. Along with racial issues, Richard also struggles with his grandmother’s strict religious views, his mother’s illness, and his strained relations with other family members, all the while trying to move north. In his novel, Wright shows how American society seeks to limit the opportunities of African Americans in the early 20th century by highlighting their lack of basic needs and limitations due to societal attitudes.
Richard’s
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Throughout the book, Richard hears of many blacks being killed by white people; since he only hears of negative relations between the races, Richard begins to fear whites. When Mr. Crane asks him what had happened with Pease and Reynolds, “anger and fear welled in [him]”(192) because of the retaliation that would come if Richard told on his white coworkers. His fear was great enough that he decided not to tell Mr. Crane in order to safeguard his life. Richard loses the job all because of the racism and fear that society has bred; without the fear on either side, racism wouldn 't exsist either. Racism is created from a fear of those who are different, and the fears of both parties puts a wedge between them. These fears also cause whites to stereotype black people. In the south, many whites see blacks as less than human. After Richard was bit by a dog, the white owner said that “‘a dog bite can’t hurt a [black person]’” (163), implying that Richard isn’t as human as a white person. Blacks are treated as if, because they are black, they do not need as much care as a white person does. This is seen by how Richard’s first employer gave him moldy food for breakfast, and expected him to enjoy it. Because of this feeling, whites do not see the need for blacks to

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