This Essay Compares Richard Wright's "Black Boy" And Baldwin's Excerpt From "My Dungeon Shook." They Both Share Common Themes And Events That Relate To Each Other.

1045 words - 4 pages

In literature, a popular difficulty that occurs among individuals is racism. Shockingly, little has changed between races in this country since Richard Wright's Black Boy and James Baldwin's "My Dungeon Shook" have been published. In his letter Baldwin writes, "You were born where you are born and faced the future you faced because you were black and for no other reason. The limits of your ambition were, thus, expected to be set forever. You were born into a society which spelled out with brutal clarity, and in as many ways as possible, that you were a worthless human being. You were not expected to aspire to excellence: you were expected to make peace with mediocrity. ...The details and symbols of your life have been deliberately constructed to make you believe what white people say about you. Please try to remember that what they believe, as well as what they do and cause you to endure, does not testify to your inferiority but to their inhumanity and fear. ...it was intended that you should perish in the ghetto, perish by never being allowed to go beyond the white man's definitions, by never being allowed to spell your proper name. You have, and many of us have, defeated this intention... and we can make America what America must become." This selection relates to events, and themes that are presented in Black Boy.Black Boy portrays the deprivation Richard Wright faces and experiences while growing up. It shows poverty, hunger, lack of emotional support, miserable living conditions, and his response to these difficulties. The book also considers family life. For Richard, home is a place of intense emotional conflict, and his family forces him to fight back constantly in order to be able to pursue his own path.Richard and his family arrive in Arkansas to live with his Aunt Maggie and Uncle Hoskins. His Uncle Hoskins owns and works at a saloon, where he earns a profitable salary. He is often threaten for the success of his job and eventually is killed because of the fact that he is a black man and was not suppose to aspire excellence. He demonstrated that if he took the hard road and overcame all obstacles and hardships placed before him, he would still get killed because of the way he was born - with black skin. Richard is like his uncle. He struggles and goes against what white people constructed him to be. As long as he did not believe what they thought of him, he could not be destroyed. This philosophy helped Richard to survive growing up in America being black.Richard Wright grew up in the deep south and from an early age he was aware of two races, the black and the white. Being an innocent child, he never saw or understood the relation between the blacks and whites . Yet he is aware of the existence of a difference. "My grandmother who was as 'white' as any 'white' person, had never looked 'white' to me." (Wright) The fact that he didn't understand but was always trying to, got him into trouble many times.Richard was so eager to learn...

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