n every story there is a cause and effect relationship that takes place with the main characters. In the story “The Man Who Was Almost a Man” Dave didn’t think that he was being treated with enough respect, which causes him to buy a gun for himself. The whole story starts off with a dispute in the fields where Dave works and because he is only seventeen, Dave believes that he should be treated as an adult. Dave was ruled by powerlessness and fear, he thought that buying a gun would bring him to the top of the food chain but instead it turned his whole life upside down.
Dave was done being treated like a kid and he wanted to be a man just like his dad. He thought of the most adult thing to do, which is own a gun, so he sets off to buy one. Dave thinking about buying the gun is what sets off the series of events that would change his life. Dave wanted to keep the purchase away from Mrs. Saunders because he knew that Mr. Saunders would never let him buy a gun. Dave decides to go behind Mr. Saunders back and buy the gun. Later in the fields he takes out the gun to admire the beauty of it. While he was idolising the gun he achieves the courage to hold it out and fire it. When Dave fired it he didn't take aim and accidentally shot and killed Jenny the mule. Dave didn't know where to go or what to do with a dead mule carcass so he just leaves her on the ground. Eventually his workers find the dead Jenny and his boss said, that he would have to work off the money it costs to
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysGet Access
In the story “The Seventh Man” a the so called “Seventh Man” is someone who feels responsible for his friends death, in a tsunami. “The Seventh Man” should not have to feel responsible for his friends death. It isn't entirely his fault, but the cause of mother nature and natural occurrences. He feels responsible however because he thinks that their may have been enough time for “The Seventh Man” to grab his friend, (k) from the ocean wave but he was frozen in shock and could not move. Based on this “The Seventh Man” feels responsible for the death of his friend and has guilt for life after these events. Based on this evidence from “The Seventh Man” he probably should not have to feel bad about the death of his friend but more at peace because of mother natures decision.
On the eve of my twelfth birthday, my father sat me down to have a talk- He says, “Mary Amelia;” his using my full name and not what everyone usually calls me had me paying attention right away. “You’re my only daughter and you’re about to become a young woman. I don’t know much about what I, as a father, should tell you; however, with your momma gone, I feel it is my responsibility to say something in the way of trying to prepare you for womanhood…
The story “The Man Who Was Almost a Man” was written by Richard Wright. Wright was born near Natchez, Mississippi. When Wright was five, his father abandoned the family so wright was raised by a series of relatives in Mississippi. Wrights education never went further than junior high school. Wright then moved to Chicago, where he joined the WPA Writes Project. Wright wrote many story’s in his time and was well known for them. “The Man Who Was Almost a Man” is about a kid who thinks is a man, so he goes out and buys a gun, then practice’s shooting it while working and ends up killing a mule then runs away. The theme of “The Man who was Almost a Man” symbolizes the coming of age, racism and self-deception of the kid.
Perhaps one of the most disgusting accusations one can receive today is “You’re racist!” However as disturbing as racism is, it is just one of the many mediums in which people use to control others. Whether the motive is race, religion, nationality, financial standing, or even gender, in every society, certain groups of people have always been oppressed. The culprit of seemingly unnecessary and ignorant oppression is human nature itself. Humans will always experience the need to feel superior, and for that reason, similar connections can be made among those people living under oppression thousands of miles and centuries apart from each other. “The Man Who Was Almost a Man” by Richard Wright, “Sweat” by Zora Neale
The most obvious symbol mentioned in this story is the gun. Throughout the story, the gun is constantly shown as a symbol for power, as well as masculinity and independence. Several times throughout the course of the story the narrator states, “If anybody could shoot a gun, he could” (Wright 222). In the fields, Dave is treated as a child, and he believes that he is an adult and should be treated as once, which includes owning a gun. Dave is disillusioned by the gun, and believes that it will solve all of his problems and strengthen his weaknesses, including granting him independence. Dave fails to realize that not being able to properly operate a gun only relinquishes freedom. This can be further evidenced when Dave accidentally shoots Jenny, the mule. This situation should have put an end to Dave’s obsession with power and guns, but instead he was still fascinated, demonstrating his lack of maturity and development. Overall, the gun demonstrates the maturity, independence, and developmental level that Dave wishes to achieve, but severely lacks.
During the teenage years, Jimmy is already the leader of the criminal group and naturally flocked into crime. Things are going well until a gang member by the name of Ray Harris decides to betray Jimmy. Jimmy is ruthless and decides the best punishment is death, and so, he kills Ray. In a surprising twist, the son of Ray coincidentally kills Jimmy’s daughter and frames it on Dave. Sean realizes what Jimmy does, and moreover, that Jimmy has never been innocent, “You killed both of them -Ray Harris and Dave Boyle.
With Dave feeling as if he is no longer a boy, he felt he deserved respect. Dave wanted the entire town to respect him but really yearned for it mostly from his parents. He worked hard in the fields and the money that he earned went to his mother. ?Ol? man Hawkins give yuh mah money yit?,? Dave said to his mother. He felt that since he did the work, then he should get the money, or at least some of it. After killing the mule in an accident, Dave also wanted to regain the respect of his boss and the other townspeople. They tormented him for his immaturity and he wanted badly to change his perception and earn his respect back. ? All the crowd was laughing now.? The townspeople were laughing at ?Dave right after he accidentally shot the mule. ?Dave really wanted to be treated like a man but it seemed as if it would never happen. ?Damn em all Nobody ever gave him anything. All he did was work. They treat me like a mule, n then they beat me.?
After a hard day at work, seventeen year old Dave heads across the fields for home, still thinking about some of the problems he had been facing with some other field help that day. He wants to prove to the others that he is not a child, anymore. “Mebbe Ma will lemme buy one when she gits mah pay from ol man Hawkins. Ahma beg her t gimme some money. Ahm ol ernough to hava gun. Ahm seventeen. Almost a man” (par. 1). Dave heads to the store to shop for a gun. He manages to talk Joe (storekeeper) to let him borrow the catalog for the night. Joe is surprised that
Dave throws his morals aside and cons his mother out of the money by telling her that his father needs a gun in the house. This action shows how far Dave will go to obtain what he believes will make him a man. After buying the gun, he then begins his next
The Man Who Was Almost a Man, tells the story of a young seventeen year old teenager, named Dave Saunders, who finds himself struggling with the need to be taken seriously as an adult, while still being seen by his community, as merely a boy. Published in 1961 and written by Richard Wright, this short story focuses on the common struggle of young African American men in the South trying to find their identity outside of the box that the United States society put them in at the time. Dave felt that in order to prove that he was a man; in order to receive the respect he thought he deserved from Black and White Americans alike, he needed to purchase a gun. This, of course, proved to be of more harm than good, as Dave found himself incapable of using the gun correctly, and what resulted was the death of his employer’s mule. Dave then, after creating a nonsensical lie that does not convince anyone, decides to skip town in order to avoid the responsibility of taking up for his actions. When taking into consideration the story line and its relativity to the South during the 1920s, when the story is set, it’s clear to see that Dave Saunders’ story is more than what it seems to be on the surface. Dave Saunders’ story is a reflection of common coming-of-age struggles, and even more than that, the common African American struggle of trying to find power when everything surrounding you, and society as a whole, is telling you that you’re powerless; a struggle that is still very
What does it mean to be a man? How does one qualify for the title? Is the term "man" simply referring to male human beings, or does it hold a greater measure of meaning in society. In order to get more insight into this subject matter, I consulted, " The Tormont Webster's Encyclopedic Dictionary". As I anticipated, the first definition for man stated as following: "An adult human being as distinguished from a female". This definition, did not surprise me, but what did ,was what followed it , it stated: A male human being endowed with such qualities as courage, strength, and fortitude, considered characteristic of manhood". To be a man in our society one must posses such qualities, along with honor, reliability and endurance. This
However, Dave chooses to neglect his responsibilities once again by hopping a train to leave town. As long as he has the gun, he feels that he is a man. He leaves town, not thinking about how his family is affected by his actions. While Dave is selfish and unconcerned, James is selfless and compassionate. This can be attributed mainly to the boy's environment. Unlike Dave, James is exposed to the most impoverished conditions and can adapt to any situation. With six other family members in his household, there was little money to spare. However, Dave's environment was not impoverished. His family had the bare necessities and was even able to save money for winter clothes. They had food and never asked Dave to go out and hunt for them anything to eat. It is these circumstances that help to contribute to Dave's selfish desires when he wants to spend his work money foolishly on a gun instead of winter clothes, and again when he chooses to run away from his responsibilities.
Dave in the story tries to present himself as this kid who is now a man, he wants to showcase to others that he is no longer some little kid that can be made fun of. Even though his actions don’t resemble those of a man, but instead of a kid who is trying to act like one, his thinking that a gun is what makes a man and certain actions that take place is what makes him a consistent character. From beginning to end his mindset of what makes a man doesn’t change, but instead is reinforced after he is humiliated. “Something hot seemed to turn over inside him each time he remembered how they had laughed” (Wright 188).
On many levels, “Almost a Man” is a coming-of-age story in that the adolescent Dave must overcome many hurdles to become a mature fully man. Being taunted, impatient by other older men, Dave believes firmly that getting a gun will end his adolescence and convert him into an actual adult. Not knowing, he discovers himself that owning a gun brings more problems and greater burden. It ironically possesses a pistol would have ushered Dave into adulthood if only he would have handled the extra responsibility like a mature adult. From the text, Dave is forced to work for two years to repay Mr. Hawkins for Jenny’s death that was as a result of the gun. Jenny’s death that was as a result of the gun. “Just let the boy keep on working and pay me two
Tommy feels he is letting his father down, and wants to make him proud. The hunting is a big thing in his life, because when you hunt and hit a buck you are allowed to go the Hut and drink liquor.