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Black Boy Essay

660 words - 3 pages

In the novel “Black Boy” by Richard Wright, Richard’s different character traits are revealed through multiple different instances of indirect characterization. Indirect characterization is a literary element commonly used in the novel. It is when the author reveals information about a character through that character's thoughts, words, actions, and how other characters respond to that character; such as what they think and say about him. Richard is put into many circumstances where the way he acts, the things he says and thinks, and the way others respond to him clearly show his character. Richard shows his pride when he refuses to fight Harrison for white men’s entertainment, principles when he doesn’t take advantage of Bess even though he has the opportunity, and ignorance when he sells KKK papers.
Richard’s pride is shown when he refuses to fight Harrison for white men’s entertainment. When Richard initially rejects the white man’s offer of five dollars for him to fight with Harrison, it is out of pride. Richard shows his pride quite a lot though out the novel. “’Then let’s fight for ‘em’ ‘I’d feel like a dog.’” (241) Harrison wants to fight for the white men because they are willing to pay them each five dollars, he could really use that money, and he does not have as much of the pride that Richard possesses. Richard on the other hand, does not need the money quite that badly and to him this act is degrading, demeaning, and disgraceful. He respects himself and believes he is to be respected by others no matter their race, and fighting for these men’s enjoyment would go against that belief.
Richard is very principled and he shows that through not taking advantage of Bess when she throws herself at him. He follows his morals very closely, and despite the urges he knew it was wrong to take advantage of her, so he does not. At...

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