Last Updated 28 Jan 2021

The Man Who Was Almost A Man

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Richard Wright’s “The Man Who Was Almost a Man” is a story of a 17-year-old teenaged boy, Dave, who wanted to be called a completely grown up man.

He was though approaching adulthood but still was an adolescent and he was viewed as an adolescent and a kid by the adults. This was the most annoying factor for him. However, Dave possessed certain qualities that really represented childish behavior in him. Because of his childish attitude many people won’t believe in him as a grown up mature man.

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The story themes are centered on racial differences, poverty and sufferings of a black youth. He’s disgusted at being still too young. He wants to get old and rich and wanted to become a respectable citizen of the society. However, whatever actions the emotional and anxious kid takes are ridiculed and makes him younger in adult’s eyes. David Glover was from a poor family with not enough resources to develop a social status. He lacked economical influence and his social status was negligible because of poverty.

In the story he acted in a way to acquire power but was rebuked and threatened by the adults for behaving childishly. He takes the gun to make and think of himself more powerful. “It was empty if anybody could shoot a gun, he could. He put the gun into his hip pocket and started across the fields. When he reached the top of a ridge he stood straight and proud in the moonlight, looking at Jim Hawkins’ big white house, feeling the gun sagging in his pocket.” (Wright)

“ ‘Whut yuh do wid tha gun?’ his mother asked.”

“’What wuz he doin wida gun?’ his father asked.”

He was obsessed with the feelings of adulthood. He finally decides to get apart from a society that does not accept him as an adult. Dave is portrayed as an emotional kid who wants power, fame and high social status. He strives that the society should accept him as a noble man.

“Dave turned and walked slowly. He heard people laughing. Dave glared~ his eyes welling with tears. Hot anger bubbled in him. Then he swallowed and stumbled on.” (Wright) Though people used to laugh on him he was still very serious regarding his actions and to be a man.

”That night Dave did not sleep. He was glad that he had gotten out of killing the mule so easily, but he was hurt.” (Wright)

He’s a kind of emotional, childish and lacked an understanding that why was he not accepted as a man.

Richard Wright himself as a black narrates the difficulties he encounters as a black person while dealing with whites. He encountered whites during is professional career at jobs. He noticed violence and discrimination against blacks.

Wright is a deliberate man who struggles through his life years. Other characters in the stories are also vibrant and well-drawn but Wright is shown as the most powerful and influential of all. As we go through the complete book we get more familiar with his character and how he’s being hurt. His pain is that why such dishonesty persist in this world.

Most of the black characters are usually ridiculed for any of their set backs or made the point of humor. They’re shown as fat and whatever they do as funny. American culture is filled up with racial discrimination from school, education, and business to film, media, screen and shows. Color has become an integral part of our society and we don’t have much to talk about if we would no discriminate between colors and whites as inferiors and supers respectively.


The Man Who Was Almost A Man essay

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