Hunger as a Theme in “Black Boy” by Richard Wright Sample

Table of Content

Throughout the autobiographical novel “Black Boy” . Richard Wright uses hunger to typify battle in his life. He struggles covering with a physical hungriness. social hungriness. and an educational hungriness. He invariably tries to pacify this hungriness by inquiring inquiries. but he shortly finds out that he will merely larn from experience. These experiences have a life-lasting consequence on him and rapidly transfuse the Jim Crow civilization upon Richard.

The first type of hungriness in Richard’s life is a physical one. one due to poverty. Soon after his male parent leaves him. this physical hungriness becomes stronger and frequently becomes associated with his male parent departure. He says. “As the yearss slid past the image of my male parent became associated with my stabs of hungriness. and whenever I felt hungriness I thought of him with a deep biological bitterness” ( 18 ) . Physical hungriness becomes such a big portion of Richard’s life. taking him to body hungriness by stating. “Hunger stole upon me so easy that at first I was non cognizant of what hungriness truly meant. Hunger had ever been more or less at my cubitus when I played. but now I began to wake up at dark to happen hunger standing at my bedside. gazing at me gauntly” ( 16 ) . After his female parent becomes excessively sick to work. Richard experiences atrocious incubuss and somnambulating tantrums which Granny believes is a side consequence of his utmost hungriness.

This essay could be plagiarized. Get your custom essay
“Dirty Pretty Things” Acts of Desperation: The State of Being Desperate
128 writers

ready to help you now

Get original paper

Without paying upfront

He invariably asks his female parent where he can acquire some nutrient and eventually. after one clip when he tells her that he is hungry. she tells him to “jump up and catch a kungry” ( 16 ) . a made up nutrient to deflect the idea of hungriness from Richard. He describes this hungriness he feels by stating. “I knew hungriness. biting hungriness. hungriness that made my organic structure aimlessly ungratified. hungriness that kept me on border. that made my temper flair. hungriness that made hatred springs out of my bosom like the dart of a serpent’s lingua. hungriness that created in me uneven cravings” ( 119 ) . In order to guarantee that Richard can last. he is sent to his Uncle Clarks house in nearby Greenwood. Mississippi. This hungriness greatly changes Richard’s life as he learns to stash nutrient subsequently in Memphis. and is even willing to steal nutrient to make full his hurting tummy.

A 2nd type of hungriness that Richard encounters is an educational hungriness. This truly starts off after a school teacher named Ella. one of the lone people who encourages Richard throughout the book. reads him the book the narrative of Bluebeard and His Seven Wifes. A simple narrative sends Richard’s imaginativeness into a whirlwind of ideas and thoughts. When he reflects on the narrative he says. “I hungered for the crisp. terrorization. breathtaking. about painful exhilaration that the narrative had given me. and I vowed that every bit shortly as I was old adequate I would purchase all the novels there were and read them to feed that thirst for force that was in me. for machination. for plotting. for secretiveness. for bloody murders” ( 46 ) . Granny. being a rigorous Seventh-Day Adventist. equates the fiction of these narratives with prevarications and wickedness. and attempts to salvage Richard’s psyche from firing in snake pit by prohibiting such “Devil stuff” in the house.

This restraint merely fueled Richard as he in secret borrows books from Ella’s room. fighting to read due to his limited vocabulary but at the same clip. experiencing a sense of achievement. Richard loves the exhilaration he finds after larning new things. He depicts this exhilaration by stating. “I had learned to number to a 100 and I was overjoyed… I would read the newspapers with my female parent steering me and spelling out the words. I shortly became a nuisance by inquiring far excessively many inquiries of everybody” ( 26 ) . After he reads the plants of writers like H. L. Mencken. his thrust for reading surges up once more as he says. “I hungered for books. new ways of looking and seeing. It was non a affair of believing or discrediting what I read. but of experiencing something new. of being affected by something that made the expression of the universe different” ( 294 ) . His wonder. fueled by his reading. opened up whole new universes to Richard.

Unfortunately. Richard would see the force he imagined by covering personally with the racialist society of the Jim Crow South. Turning up as a male child. Richard ne’er to the full grasped the thought of racism. with inquiries ever being diverted or mistily answered. Once he put himself in the existent universe. things became clearer for him. A memorable race-related issue in his life was the lynching of his Uncle Hoskins. Populating a comfortable life. due to his profitable barroom. he offers to take in Richard and his household. After a few yearss. Uncle Hoskins is killed by a group of Whites who covet his barroom.

When depicting this incident. Richard says. “This was every bit close as white panic had of all time come to me and my head reeled. Why had we non fought back. I asked my female parent. and the fright that was in her made her slap me into silence” ( 64 ) . Richard besides encounters race when he sees a concatenation pack of inkinesss surrounded by white guards. This cryptic division of race goads Richard to oppugn his female parent and the universe that he lives in. admirations to himself stating. “I wanted to understand these two sets of people who lived side by side and ne’er touched. it seemed. except in violence” ( 54 ) .

Whether it was physical. educational. or social. Richard Wright is invariably surrounded by hungriness. These hungrinesss left a profound consequence on Richard’s childhood. yet at the same clip provided him a sense of motive. I admire how Richard Wright persevered through all the adversities. while happening a positive mercantile establishment to liberate himself from the Jim Crow South. I admire his doggedness and aspire to populate my life with this admirable quality.

Cite this page

Hunger as a Theme in “Black Boy” by Richard Wright Sample. (2017, Sep 18). Retrieved from

Remember! This essay was written by a student

You can get a custom paper by one of our expert writers

Order custom paper Without paying upfront