Falling Short Essay

703 words - 3 pages

"Falling Short" When does a boy become a man? When he becomes eighteen? Moves out of his parents' house? Gets married? When? That question does not have a definite answer. The short story "The Man Who Was Almost a Man" written by Richard Wright tried to answer this question. The main character, Dave, wants people to stop treating him like a boy because he sees himself as a man. He also wants to gain the respect and power so closely associated with manhood but doesn't want to accept the responsibilities that goes with being a man.I found the title of the story very interesting in relation to the story itself. Wright was trying to say that Dave never became a man. He was treated like a boy because that is the way he acted. He would always return to his childish manner. He only wanted to be an adult when he thought it was convenient. Dave wanted the privileges of an adult but not the responsibilities of one. An example of this would be when he lied to everyone about how the mule died. He should have just been a man about it and admitted his wrongdoing. Instead, he lied to everyone, causing his mother to treat him like a child for him to tell the truth.Dave does not understand what it really means to be an adult. Just because he has a job and earns his own money, he considers himself a man; but the people around him don't think he is mature enough to be called a man. At the age of seventeen, his Jeter 2 parents still treat him as a little boy. They don't even let him manage his own money. His father controls most of his actions as if he is a little kid. The people in his neighborhood also treat him as a boy. As a result, he gets a gun just to let everyone know that he is old enough to handle himself. He thought that getting a gun would gain him the respect that he deserved. Also not...

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