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Hate And Racial Isues: Analysis Of Three Short Stories

1629 words - 7 pages

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn once said “the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being.” That being said, everyone has the capacity to be good and evil. The line is shared between all humans, proving that regardless of what is on the outside everyone is exactly the same on the inside. Being good and being evil is a part of human nature. However, the line between good and evil is easily blurred when one is the perpetrator or victim of hate, especially racial hate, which clouds ones judgment, eventually leading to violence and inevitably destruction.

Long Black Song by Richard Wright exemplified how racial hate can overcome one’s heart and mind, blinding them of their true virtues, leading to violence. Silas had reason to believe that his wife, Sarah, had slept with the white salesman that had recently stopped by their home while Silas was out of town. Even after repeatedly explaining to Silas how it was not true, the idea of his wife sleeping with a white man was enough to fill Silas’ mind and heart with hate. Sarah knew trouble was coming when Silas had become enraged, playing out the scenario in her head where “white men killed the black and black men killed the white,”(Wright 1431), an inevitable violence and destruction that could not be avoided. Sarah then described the different reasons behind the violence as“White men killed the black men because they could, and the black men killed the white men to keep from being killed (Wright 1431).” Killing was a form of self-defense for blacks and a representation of power for whites. When the white men returned to Silas’ home to collect the payment for the graphophone, Silas pointed to the graphophone he had wrecked, laying in a jumbled heap on the ground. Silas went into his confrontation knowing that he may need to fight for his life, but had no intention of starting the scuffle. The white man made the first move, but Silas made the first hit, defending himself from the evil and corrupt manner of white hatred towards blacks coupled with the destroyed graphophone. After proving to be the better opponent, killing one of the white men, Silas knew his fate. “Now, its all gone. Gone...Ef Ah run erway, Ah ain got nothin. Ef Ah stay n fight, Ah ain got nothin (Wright 1433)” Silas explained to Sarah as she tried to convince him to run away with her. There was no point in his running away because the white men had taken everything away from him; his wife, his land, his freedom, and his fate.

Silas’ death and destruction became inevitable when he fell victim to hate. His actions were not guided by evil intentions, but rather his necessity to survive. However, the line dividing good and evil within Silas’ heart was crossed when he whipped Sarah and kicked her out of the house. Silas loves Sarah, but once he found out that she may have slept with a white man, his heart filled with hate for Saraha and for the white man, feeling “stabbed in the back by [his] own blood (Wright 1433).”...

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