Big Black Good Man By Richard Wright

887 Words Feb 22nd, 2016 4 Pages
The protagonist in the short story “Big Black Good Man”, written by Richard Wright, is a sixty year old man named Olaf Jenson. Jenson works as a night porter at a hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark. Jim, an American sailor, enters the hotel and requests a room. Jenson is startled by Jim’s usual black complexion and gigantic size. Before meeting Jim, Jenson views himself as respecter of all men. In fact, Jenson justifies his belief by dawning upon his experiences as a sailor, which exposed him to many different cultures and peoples. However, his encounter with Jim causes Jenson to realize his racial prejudices. Although Jenson refuses to accept this revelation his words and actions testify otherwise.
The plot begins by setting the scene at a hotel near the Baltic Sea in Copenhagen. Due to the hotel’s close proximity to the sea, the hotel commonly houses many sailors. Furthermore, the reader can infer that Copenhagen is a popular tourist attraction because it is the capital of Denmark. The setting is vital to the character development of Olaf Jenson. Due to the setting, Jenson is exposed to a diversity of people. In addition to the setting, Jenson was a sailor during his youth. Therefore, his experiences as a sailor enrich his understanding of different cultures and ethnic groups. Jenson’s well-roundness is also supported by his fluency in eight different languages. “…English, French, German, Danish, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, and Spanish…” (Wright 184).
Despite Jenson’s exposure…

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