The Man Who Was Almost A Man Essay
In the short story, The Man Who Was Almost a Man by Richard Wright, a young, black sharecropper struggles to gain respect in the deep south during the early 20th century. Dave Saunders is a seventeen year old boy who desperately wants to be treated as a man by the adults in his life. In his immaturity, Dave believes owning a gun will earn him the respect that he feels he deserves, never considering the responsibility that comes with owning a gun. Moreover, Dave’s immature behavior has a significant impact on those around him.
Dave feels particularly disrespected by his co-workers at Mr. Hawkins plantation and is anxious to prove to them that he’s a man. “ One of these days he was going to get a gun and practice shooting, then they couldn’t talk to him as though he were a little boy”(113/5). This indicates that Dave, in his immaturity, believes once he owns a gun his co-workers will begin to treat him as a man. It seems Dave is under the impression that the gun makes the man instead of vice versa.
Furthermore, Dave does not respect guns as weapons that can cause serious bodily harm. Instead, he views guns childishly as a sort of entertainment, “ Shucks, a man oughta have a little gun after he done worked hard all day”(114/6). That…