• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Richard Wright's The Man Who Was Almost a Man

Extracts from this document...


Richard Wright's The Man Who Was Almost a Man The Man Who Was Almost a Man is a fictitious short story about an uneducated black boy's quest to become a man. Growing up in the early 1900's was a very hard task for most black people. The lack of education was one of the hardest hills they had to overcome to make it in a world dominated by whites. The story centers upon one 17-year boy who has very low self-esteem caused by his peers. He believes that owning a gun will gain him respect with others and thus make him a man. The title of this short story has several different ways of being interpreted because the time and atmosphere in which it was written. The short story was written in first person narrative, which gives a graphic account of the personality of the character Dave. The short story is also written in a dialect of an uneducated black boy which gives the reader the feel of what is was like to be that young man back in the early 1900's. The stories title The Man Who Was Almost a Man holds many different meanings to how Dave must have felt back in those times. ...read more.


The society around which Dave was living was very harsh towards blacks. Dave's struggle with power and oppression was evident in his lack of judgement in his actions. His struggle with his self-identity was ruining his life. Much of Wright's works were written through his own past (Blau B1). He had grown up in the times he was writing about and expressed his hardships in his fiction. His writing style puts you in the main characters every thought and action to enable a sense of emotion. Dave's freedom from the life he had became challenged. Dave became obsessed with the idea that it was time to be a man and seemed to lose interest in his family. His father had oppressed his childhood. Plowing a field was more important than school in his father's eyes. Dave obsession with being a man contained a hidden meaning. It contained a sense of freedom from his parents, mainly his father. His father had beaten him severely on many occasions and Dave was afraid the killing of the mule was going to bring another one. He had to run and find himself. ...read more.


Dave is her favorite son and this is evident in her actions. Dave's dad is portrayed as a harsh man, fighting for survival in a time when blacks were unable to better themselves. Wright avoided the confrontation between Dave's mom and dad on the issue of why she had given Dave the money for the gun. Wright's beliefs in family are embedded in his writings stemming from his own childhood. The racial point, which is not as evident but still present, characterizes Wright's earliest works written around 1930 (Brignano 45). Dave's struggle to become a man was one he thought could be obtained by a simple act of owning a gun. The Man Who Was Almost a Man was written about all people in their transition from child to adult. Wright captures his meaning by describing his childhood through Dave. Wright's cunning use of first person narrative projects a harsh realism of life as a black in the early 1900's. His use of vocabulary helps define the character's education in the story. Dave's struggle with life is shown through his bad judgement in thinking a gun will make him a man. Life was hard back then and being accepted played a big role in all blacks searching for that one thing that would make them accepted within their society. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level James Joyce section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level James Joyce essays

  1. role of Parsi community in Ice Candy Man

    The Aayah who is the nucleus of the circle of various religions portrays the hybridity and complexity of the society. However, the competitors of her love are initially jealous of each other on sexual basis but with the atrocities being committed by numerous sects in the backdrop; suddenly make them aware of their respective religious identities and practices.

  2. How do the writers Sylvia Plath and Ken Kesey portray the struggle of the ...

    tornado and compels us to determine what this suggestion will lead to. Bromden's silence is similar to Esther's in Bell Jar; both of these characters are unable to communicate their ideas through speech due to the fears of those around them.

  1. To what extent can the 1950s American Capitalist society, almost be entirely to blame ...

    Consequently, his utter blindness to the merits of the family combined with his often unsympathetic cold, unsociable attitude can attribute to his eventual sense of alienation within not only those close to him but within the monstrous system which surrounds him.

  2. Oranges are Not the Only Fruit can be interpreted as a coming of age ...

    The allegories have an element of ambiguity, again causing the reader to stop and rethink about what is in fact happening. These allegories illustrate Jeanette the character dealing and struggling with problems and emotion. The final chapter begins with a myth whereas others appear in the middle and the end

  1. A critical exploration of Irish Society at the end of the 19th century. ...

    As with Pamela, Lady Dysart overtly expresses her consternation over her son's lack of interest in getting married as she considers it "quite hopeless to expect anything from him" in the company of Miss. Hope-Drummond and speaks disapprovingly of his "platonic philanderings".

  2. In death, Carlo is described as 'the perfect figure of the perfect man.' To ...

    promiscuity that other lovers indulge in, he instantly gives the impression of an ideal man, someone who would make a devoted partner whilst maintaining heroic status. However, he is not exploding with love for women, but for men. Everything about his love is beautiful except the setting it has in

  1. Flannery OConnors A Good Man is Hard to Find is a story about a ...

    The grandmother does not want to go to Florida and uses The Misfit as a reason to avoid going there. Through her later manipulations she causes the family?s meeting with The Misfit and subsequently their deaths- grandmother escapes going to Florida through The Misfit but obviously not in the way she intended.

  2. In her essay "Flight," Doris Lessing illustrates the story of an old man who ...

    " Just like the sky is described empty without the bird, the garden is empty without Lisa. Moreover, at the end of the story when the old man, "clenched in the pain of loss," lets his favorite bird and all the other ones go free, they surprisingly return to the

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work