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The Man Who Lived Underground Essay

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Shakia Purnell March 21, 2016 Midterm Essay Rough Draft The Man Who Lived Underground by Richard Wright is full of symbols. The story is that of a man who after being accused of a murder starts living in underground sewers, in an attempt to escape the law. There are several themes in the story, however, underground life is a powerful major theme in it that has several meanings and implications in the context of the story. Underground can be seen as a potent symbol meaning an escape from the social institution and its bondage, as a relief from inequality and racial divisions, as solitude and self-discovery and many more similar things. Underground is also the stage for the most of the drama that takes place as a part of the story. However, underground also appears as a symbol of repulsion and revolt. Overall, the writer has used the symbol of underground to expose the corruption and chaos in the society in a brilliant manner. First of all, what underground denotes is an escape from the society and the chaos found in it. For Fred Daniels, the black…show more content…
It also indicates a revolt against the oppression and prejudice that trouble the African Americans. It is particularly Daniels’ color of the skin that makes him fear the law and society all the more since he cannot see any hope because of his black color. In this context the sewer is a second home that keeps Daniels safe from prejudice, discrimination and all the disorder found in the upper-world. Underground represents the light in the dark. It represents freshness away from the suffocation people like Daniels had to bear when amid the society. Underground also represents protection from the miserable life Daniels would find in the upper world. In this way, underground is a symbol of escape and revolt. At this point, it does not represent poverty or misery but is like a cave which protects Daniels from the troubles found
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