Heroic: Black Boy by Richard Wright

1416 WordsJul 15, 20186 Pages
In Richard Wright’s Black Boy, you see not only the transformation of a young boy going into adulthood, but a fascinating story of a hero on a journey to discover his true identity and his part in society. “Heroism is not about rising to the top, fighting for one's rightful place in society, but rather about making one's society and one's self whole. There is, however, also the notion that the right person can solve even global problems single-handedly. If the right person attempts such a feat, it will usually be successful” (Haberkorn). Wright goes from an ordinary world of struggles with hunger and poverty to a life of unfair treatment due to the color of his skin. This only leads Wright to take on the world with his head held high and…show more content…
During this time period, people of color are looked upon as inferior to Caucasians, and therefore discriminated against. It is very difficult for Wright to find a job since most places would not trust a black boy working for them, and the places that do, treat him unfairly compared to his Caucasian co-workers. “Development requires both an interaction between the person and the environment and the stimulation of significant events that serve to move the individual toward the next stage” (Lawson). Lawson speaks of the people around the hero, not only does the hero play a part in his journey, but so do the people around him. Everyone is meant to either help him or teach him a lesson. “In mythology, heroes are often helped by magical friends, who tend to appear in the form of guides, teachers, ferry operators, and so forth. A magical friend explains how to get beyond difficult obstacles or provides assurance that the hero will not be harmed” (Osland). For example, Wright works in a factory at one point where a Caucasian co-worker takes credit for his work, and there is nothing he can do because his words were less credible then those of the white mans. This teaches Wright that there are evil people out there, however, it is not what they do to you but the way you decide to react towards them that shapes who you really are. He also has some friends in a job that discourage him from being curious and asking questions about the segregation and
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