Dylan Doan1/20/2018Mrs. ReigleHonors American LiteratureBlack Boy – Chapter 1″Black Boy” is written and narrated by Richard Wright a black author during the times of racism and prejudice. Wright details his accounts about how it was to live in the south during the prevalence of racism. He start the novel off with him and his little brother playing silently in their living room. Their mother has asked them to be quiet because next door in the other room their grandmother is dying. Richard decides to look out the window and starts to daydream, then a bird comes by and he shouts. Richard and his brother get into an argument about being quiet and their mom storms in furious telling them to be quiet. Richard becoming bored soon after decides to take straws from a broom and throw them into the fire place little by little. Richard then gets some straws and lights them on fire. He runs over to the curtains and the ambers from the straw ignite the curtains. The fire starts to spread and as soon as you know it the house is engulfed in flames; Richard and his brother flee. Everyone makes it out safely from the house and soon after, they find out Richard was responsible for starting the fire. He gets beat severely and after begins to think about the bad things he has done. His mom sends him out to get groceries and everytime he comes back he has none. A gang of boys beat him up and the groceries that he bought were stolen: it helped develop him mature both physically and mentally.This instance was essential because it was the turning point in Richard’s life for him to begin to mature. My emotional response to this was heartfelt for Richard, he was only six years old and was fascinated by the fire. It was interesting that whenever he would go out to get groceries a group of boys would steal his money and beat him up and after enough times his mom gave him a stick to beat them up and threatened that if he came back with no groceries she would beat him. Richard talked about the time he killed a cat because his father told him too. He and his brother were playing with a stray kitten and it woke up his father Nathan. In fury his father said “Kill that damn thing” but he did not mean it literally, Richard then kills the cat. “I was a drunkard in my sixth year, before I had begun school. With a gang of children, I roamed the streets, begging pennies from passers-by, haunting the doors of saloons . . . .” This shows that it was hard back then and they were at a disadvantage due being exposed to alcohol and drugs at an early age. “Had a black boy announced that he aspired to be a writer, he would have been unhesitatingly called crazy by his pals. Or had a black boy spoken of yearning to get a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, his friends–in the boy’s own interest–would have reported his odd ambition to the white boss.” Being a colored boy and having big aspirations in the south would never end up in something good because it was looked down upon to see a successful black person or even think about being successful. Friends would tell on each other if any of them aspired to be something great in the future, and they would get reprimanded. “Granny didn’t become colored,” my mother said angrily. “She was born the color she is now.” This shows that back then it was hard being a person of color and already you were at a disadvantage to others. Black Boy – Chapter 7It is summer time and Richard Wright has aspirations to become an author. He first needed money to buy books and essentials to learn and go to school. He’s a colored boy looking for a job so as usual during the time period it is hard to find any. Finally he lands one being a waterboy at a brickyard. He is a waterboy because he is too weak to be a bricklayer. During his time working there the owner’s dog has bitten many workers due to them throwing bricks at it and agitating it. One day the dog decides to attack Richard and bites him. Richard being worried tells the owner about what happened and he seems not to care, but fortunately for Richard his wounds healed. The brickyard then closes and Richard finds a second job, this time being a golf caddy. That gig didn’t work out long for and Richard was fired. School comes around and “While in eighth grade, Richard writes “The Voodoo of Hell’s Half-Acre,” a story that “stemmed from pure feeling.” The newspaper decides they would publish it on the condition that they would not have to pay Richard because he was young. This is a powerful moment because Richard went through some hard labor of being a water boy at a brickyard to being a golf caddy to finally start writing stories. His first story got published in the paper and his writing was being seen, this was the start of something great for Richard. By starting from the bottom and working hard labor to persevering to become a great writer helped him build character. I felt something good inside by reading how he has accomplished a lot due to his knowledge. Especially because it was a time during racism and he was a colored boy trying to become a writer despite adversity. “I never saw a dog bite that could really hurt a nigger,” this shows that the brickyard owner was racist and simply didn’t care and is basically calling him weak. “Son, you ought to be more serious. You’re growing up now and you won’t be able to get jobs if you let people think that you’re weak-minded. Suppose the superintendent of schools would ask you to teach here in Jackson, and he found out that you had been writing stories?” Even his own mother thinks it is a shame that he is trying to become a writer and this shows that even your own family will try to put down your dreams because of how bad racism and prejudice may be during the time. “Then how could one live in a world in which one’s mind and perceptions meant nothing and authority and tradition meant everything?” Wright explains that how could someone live in a world in which their opinions meant nothing and authority only meant something. Wright’s perseverance and grit shows that even though all odds may be against you there is always a way to accomplish your goals and dreams. Even having his father leave the family, beatings, alcohol, and racism, in the end Wright still achieved his dreams. Wright uses imagery to accurately depict events that happened to him as a kid, “Seventh, ma’am. Then why are you going to school?’ Well, I want to be a writer.’ A what?’ A writer.” Being asked why you are going to school shows that most colored people were not educated and it was abnormal for one to be educated.Black Boy – Chapter 14 Richard, his mother, brother, and Aunt Maggie all decide they want to move to Chicago as quickly as possible. They are worrying that if they plan it out too much they will start to regret it and not have the courage to leave the south. Richard decides to tell his boss on a short notice and he questions why. Richard just says he is leaving to go with his mother to the north. But fellow workers and the boss speculate its the books that Richard has been reading that is influencing his decision. Shorty said his awkward goodbye and thought to himself if he would ever be able to leave the south and pursue his dream. But he concluded that he did not have the drive or motivation to do so. Richard learned that the south had impeted his full potential and that moving to the north could only help him find who he really was. He said that the lessons he learned and experiences he got from the south will never be forgotten even if he moved to the north. Instead of leaving his past in the south he wants to take it with him to the north and create a better life for himself and his family. This is the one of the strongest parts in the book because Richard is finally breaking away from the south and all the bad that has happened down there. He can now flourish and find himself in the north, while living with his family. The next day Richard and his family move up north; Richard infers that the south never really knew who he was. “Yet, deep down, I knew that I could never really leave the South, for my feelings had already been formed by the South, for there had been slowly instilled into my personality and consciousness, black though I was, the culture of the South. So, in leaving, I was taking a part of the South to transplant in alien soil, to see if it could grow differently, if it could drink of new and cool rains, and bend in strange winds . . . .” Wright explains how the culture and ways of the south are engraved in him and he really never knew if he would be able to move away and he did. He is taking everything he has learned and spreading it to a new place to see how others may enjoy it. My psychological response to this was that Richard wanted to get away from his past but never forget where he came from. Back in the south he got beat, drank alcohol, was discriminated against, and learned many things the hard way. But in the end Wright ended up becoming a renowned black writer and a great person. His past helped shape him into the influential writer he ended up becoming.