Black Boy Essay
In the 1920’s, living in the South was hard on any American American. In the novel Black Boy by Richard Wright, the main character Richard is a young black boy growing up in hunger, poverty, and fear. Throughout the novel Richard’s biggest fault is his massive pride that leads him into dilemmas but also shows how his pride makes him a better man.
In the incident where Richard declines his fathers offering of a nickel Wright reveals Richard’s chose of pride over hunger. When Richard, his mother, and his brother try to get money from Richards father Nathan, all he offers is a nickel to Richard which Richard doesn’t accept. “I wanted to take the nickel, but I did not want to take it from my father.” pg.33 Although Richard is hungry he still refuses to take money from the man responsible for his hunger. His pride will not allow him to cave in to his hunger. To Richard, no amount of money is worth his pride.
Another instance is when Richard rejects the principal’s speech Wright reveals Richard’s pride, and rebellious character. Richard is named valedictorian but discovers his principal has written a speech for him to read in front of the white people present at the graduation, Richard refuses. to do so. “Look, professor, I may never get a chance to go to school again. But I’d like to do things right.” pg. 175 Richard rebels against his principal’s orders to read any other speech that is not his own. He is too proud to surrender his beliefs in what he knows is right.
To Richard Wright, there is nothing more basic and essential to man than pride. Without it, a man is nothing: nothing to himself and nothing to society. Even at an early age, Richard could appreciate the value of pride. Having too much pride can cause issues with and having too little pride can have people walk all over a person. One must have that balance of pride; not being ridiculous, rebelling against everything but not standing in the background either. A person...