Richard Wright Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 08:06:56
352 words
2 pages
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Category: Literature

Type of paper: Essay

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In this story written by Richard Wright, we see a man who struggles to come to terms with asserting his independence on the people around him. The main character in the story, Dave, is portrayed by the author as someone who sees that ownership of a gun as the starting point whereby he can prove to his peers and his parents that he is a man. However, as the story progresses, we also witness how Dave fumbles along the way of becoming a man. I believe that many of us have, at one point in our lives, felt the same way as Dave when he wanted to break free from his youth by doing something that was basically within the turf of being an adult.

For Dave, becoming a man meant being able to own and fire a gun. Dave felt, or believed, that owning a gun was synonymous to being able to stand up for yourself, or talk to him as though he were a little boy. Unfortunately, Dave focused on the benefits of having a gun instead of focusing on the responsibilities attached to owning a gun. In the course of his struggle for independence, Dave was able to convince his mother to buy a guy but only with the promise of immediately surrendering the gun to his father upon purchase. Naturally, Dave did not live up to this promise and instead tried the gun for himself.

And in doing so, he killed the mule of his employer and instead of proving himself worthy of being called a man, his peers saw that he was still not ready to take on the responsibility. In this story, we see different points of view on independence. How does one come of age? For Dave, it was owning a gun but for his parents, it meant being responsible for your actions. In the end, Dave proved himself that he met his own criteria of being a man by owning and firing a gun. But in the sight of many, he is still that man who was almost a man. Almost but not quite.

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