Black Boy , an autobiography by Richard Wright, is an account of a youngAfrican-American boy’s thoughts and outlooks on life in the South while growingup. The novel is 288 pages, and was published by Harper and Row Publishers in 1996. The main subject, Richard Wright, who was born in 1908, opens the bookwith a description of himself as a four-year-old in Natchez, Mississippi, andhis family’s later move to Memphis. In addition it describes his earlyrebellion against parental authority, and his unsupervised life on the streetswhile his mother is at work. His family lives in poverty and faces constanthunger. As a result his family lives with his strict grandmother, a ferventlyreligious woman. In spite of his frequent punishment and beatings, Wrightremembers the pleasures of rural life.
Richard then describes his family’s move to Memphis in 1914. Though notalways successful, Richard’s rebellious nature pervades the novel. This is bestillustrated by his rebellion against his father. He resents his father’s theneed for quiet during the day, when his father, a night porter, sleeps. When Mr.
Wright tells Richard to kill a meowing kitten if that’s the only way he can keepit quiet, Richard has found a way to rebel without being punished. He takes hisfather literally and hangs the kitten. But Richard’s mother punishes him bymaking him bury the kitten and by filling him with guilt. Another theme is seenwhen his father deserts the family, and Richard faces severe hunger. For thefirst time, Richard sees himself as different from others, because he mustassume some of the responsibilities of an adult. In contrast to his abovecharacteristics, Richard soon shows his ability in learning, even before hestarts school, which he begins at a later age than other boys because his mothercouldn’t afford his school clothes. Rebellion, hunger (for knowledge and food),and the sense of being different will continue with Richard throughout this book.
In the following chapters the Wrights move to the home of Richard’s AuntMaggie. But their pleasant life there ends when whites kill Maggie’s husband.
Later the threat of violence by whites forces Maggie to flee again. Additionalunfortunate events include Richard’s mother having a stroke. As a result,Richard is sent to his Uncle Clark’s, but he is unhappy there and insists onreturning to his mother’s.
Later, Richard confronts his Aunt Addie, who teaches at the Seventh-DayAdventist church school. He also resists his grandmother’s attempts to converthim to religious faith. He writes his first story and blossoms in a literarysense. Richard then gets a job selling newspapers but quits when he finds thatthe newspapers hold racist views. Soon after this incident, his grandfather dies.
Richard publishes his first story. The reaction from his family isoverwhelmingly negative, though they can do nothing to stop his interest inliterature.
When he graduates, Richard becomes class valedictorian. But he refusesto give the speech written for him by the principal. Upon entering the harshworld of actual adulthood, Richard has several terrifying confrontations withwhites. In the most important of these confrontations, he is forced out of a jobbecause he dares to ask to learn the skills of the trade. These same harshrealities of life also force Richard to learn to steal. By stealing he acquiresenough money to leave the Deep South.
Richard finds a place to stay in Memphis. The owner of his rooming houseencourages him to marry her daughter, Bess. As a result of his inborn fear ofintimacy, he refuses. Richard then takes another job with an optical company.
The foreman tries to provoke a fight between him and a black employee of anothercompany.
In the culmination of Richard’s interest in literature, he borrows alibrary card and discovers the hard-hitting style of columnist H. L. Mencken andbegins to read voraciously.
Finally, in the last chapter, Richard leaves for Chicago. When Richardtells his boss that he is leaving, he says that his departure is at his family’sinsistence. The white men at the factory are uneasy about a black man who wantsto go north. They seem to consider that desire an implicit criticism of theSouth and thus of them. On the train north, Richard reflects on his life. Hewonders why he believes that life could be lived more fully. His answer is thathe acquired this belief from the books he read, which were critical of Americaand suggested that the country could be reshaped for the better. Wright seemsto have wanted a different and better life long before he discovered Mencken andthe other writers he read in Memphis. As Richard continues his reflections, hethinks the white South has allowed him only one honest path, that of rebellion.
He argues to himself that the white South, and his own family, conforming to thedictates of whites, have not let him develop more than a portion of hispersonality. Yet he also thinks he is taking with him a part of the South. HereWright focuses on the way his life in the South has been typical of other blacklives, all stunted by racism.
Wright’s portrayal of himself growing up seems to be accurate; hispersonal feelings at the time of the book’s composition, and during hischildhood adding to the reader’s understanding of the life and times of theauthor. Although an arguably confused and purposeless individual, Wright didachieve much in his strife against racism and its limits on his people. Inbecoming a community leader, he shared his perception about America, aperception of a part of America that was unknown territory. His admirablecharacter allowed him to channel all the anger and ambiguities in his life andfocus them to a good cause.
Why Work with Us
Top Quality and Well-Researched Papers
We always make sure that writers follow all your instructions precisely. You can choose your academic level: high school, college/university or professional, and we will assign a writer who has a respective degree.
Professional and Experienced Academic Writers
We have a team of professional writers with experience in academic and business writing. Many are native speakers and able to perform any task for which you need help.
Free Unlimited Revisions
If you think we missed something, send your order for a free revision. You have 10 days to submit the order for review after you have received the final document. You can do this yourself after logging into your personal account or by contacting our support.
Prompt Delivery and 100% Money-Back-Guarantee
All papers are always delivered on time. In case we need more time to master your paper, we may contact you regarding the deadline extension. In case you cannot provide us with more time, a 100% refund is guaranteed.
Original & Confidential
We use several writing tools checks to ensure that all documents you receive are free from plagiarism. Our editors carefully review all quotations in the text. We also promise maximum confidentiality in all of our services.
24/7 Customer Support
Our support agents are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week and committed to providing you with the best customer experience. Get in touch whenever you need any assistance.
Try it now!
How it works?
Follow these simple steps to get your paper done
Place your order
Fill in the order form and provide all details of your assignment.
Proceed with the payment
Choose the payment system that suits you most.
Receive the final file
Once your paper is ready, we will email it to you.
No need to work on your paper at night. Sleep tight, we will cover your back. We offer all kinds of writing services.
No matter what kind of academic paper you need and how urgent you need it, you are welcome to choose your academic level and the type of your paper at an affordable price. We take care of all your paper needs and give a 24/7 customer care support system.
Admission Essays & Business Writing Help
An admission essay is an essay or other written statement by a candidate, often a potential student enrolling in a college, university, or graduate school. You can be rest assurred that through our service we will write the best admission essay for you.
Our academic writers and editors make the necessary changes to your paper so that it is polished. We also format your document by correctly quoting the sources and creating reference lists in the formats APA, Harvard, MLA, Chicago / Turabian.
If you think your paper could be improved, you can request a review. In this case, your paper will be checked by the writer or assigned to an editor. You can use this option as many times as you see fit. This is free because we want you to be completely satisfied with the service offered.