Richard Write: A Southern Writer Essay

551 Words3 Pages
“The creation of life is infinitely greater than the destruction of it. Ending a life only cuts it off in time. The creation of life determines its trajectory for all eternity. The moment of creation is the point where heredity and environment intersect.” (Kierkegaard) Self is one’s nature in conjunction with nurture, the amalgamation of the autonomous imagination and one’s surroundings. Black Boy chronicles Richard Wright’s journey and maturation from a boy to a man. Born to an absentee father and less than affectionate mother, Wright navigates his way through the Jim Crow South, a place where society is designed to marginalize the black people who reside in it. Although his environment contributes significantly, Richard’s innate nature…show more content…
When Richard moves to Chicago, it is clearly seen how living in the South has affected him. He recalls, “I looked about to see if there were signs saying: FOR WHITE-FOR COLORED” (Wright 262). When he works for the Jewish couple, he feels the need to lie to them because “[he] had met so many white faces that would have violently disapproved of …taking the examination that [he] could not have risked telling Mr. Hoffman the truth” (Wright 269). The he has always seen blacks and whites interact with each other has influenced his thinking and perception of the world around him. Richard assumes he will be treated the same because in his experience all whites were the same. However, Richard’s introspective and inquisitive nature allows him to process his new environment and the feelings that derive from it. Reflecting on the sense of anxiety and uncertainty Richard feels when arriving in the North, he is able to understand blacks, like Shorty, who lower their standards and submit to the white people in the South. While reflecting on his current position in society, Richard is able to come to the conclusion that he does not desire to write fantasy stories or mystery novellas, but describes his longing to write as a “hunger for insight into my own life and the lives about me” (Wright 282). He wants to use his “fiercely indrawn nature” to the advantage of his
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