A man who was almost a man
The Man Who Was Almost a Man by Richard WrightThis short story about a 17 year-old African-American, Dave, and his search for finding a gun to gain respect and admiration from his society turns out to be a tragedy. He thinks that a gun will let him escape from the oppression that he faces as being a stereotypical African-American boy who always follows the mundane routines of doing his chores. He wanted to someone bigger and more powerful than that. He wanted to make sure that people were afraid of him and knew better than to mess around with a young adult like him. He wants to become an adult because he thinks that being an adult is the answer to all of the worries of life, instead he realizes after he accidentally shoots and kills his bosss mule, Jenny, that the gun is instead the addition to his worries. But at the end you can notice that he is almost turning out to be a man (which is where the title derives from) because he starts to find independence when he thinks that he should flee from the oppressive society that he currently dwells in. The moonlight that he sees ahead is the symbolism of hope and the new path to a happy and successful place where he can be someone that he wants to be without having something or someone pul him back. This coming-of-age story is about independence and how finding your voice through a tragical transition in your life can alter your whole life once and for all.
The Man Who Was Almost a Man
In case we have any confused Pink Floyd fans in the house, this isn't the Richard Wright you're looking for. Born in Mississippi in , Richard Wright became one of the most prominent voices in the Harlem Renaissance , a legendary explosion of African-American literature and art in the s and 30s. You've probably heard of his novels before: Black Boy and Native Son have long been regarded as American classics. Less known, however, is Wright's impressive work in short stories. The story follows Dave Saunders, a seventeen-year-old kid desperate to prove his manhood. After being teased, babied, and downright disrespected , our young hero decides that the only way he can make things right is by buying a gun.
by Richard Wright
The action takes place in the American South before the year when Harper's Bazaar published the story. Wright grew up in the South—in Mississippi, Tennessee, and Arkansas. Dave Saunders : Seventeen-year-old African-American who believes owning a gun will cause others to respect him. Bob Saunders : Dave's parents. Dave's Little Brother Joe: Store owner.
Often times this evolution in social status occurs without deliberate attempt. Throughout this story Dave wrestles with the societal concept of hegemonic masculinity and tries to force his way into manhood. Hegemonic masculinity, a potentially. Set in the Jim Crow South, independence is a trait that not many Americans possess. Under Jim Crow laws, the status of an African American man is undermined.