Sunday, September 22, 2019

Born Black, Live Brave, Die Free

Born Black, Live Brave, Die Free Essay â€Å"Id rather die my way than live yours.†- Lauren Oliver. At some point in your life you have been put down, burdened, discouraged, or even depressed. Sometimes there are certain things you can do to help ease these human issues, but sometimes these issues are opportunities to be even better than you were before; this is so in Richard Wright’s case. In the novel Black Boy Richard Wright was in a constant state of oppression, whether he was encompassed by friends or foes; he was constantly put down, even if it was those who were supposed to always love him. Because of this continuous adversity in his life, Richard Wright gradually develops into a very independent, self-reliant and strong person. Through Richard Wright’s own experiences, maybe other individuals who are in the same situations of life can learn the dexterity of persistence and liberation as well. Throughout Richard’s life, he faces the need for a loving family to help and encourage him. However, they unknowingly help to form his independence. For instance, he has to be independent regarding his negligent father, whom abandons him and the rest of his family (16). Thereafter, Richard’s mother puts the responsibility on him to buy the family’s groceries; â€Å"One evening my mother told me that thereafter I would have to do the shopping for food.† â€Å"When I reached the corner, a gang of boys grabbed me, knocked me down, snatched the basket, took the money, and sent me running home in panic.† He is repeatedly beaten and robbed by a group of boys when he goes to the corner store to buy the groceries, and complains to his mother saying, â€Å"I’m scared,† or, â€Å"They’ll beat me; they’ll beat me.† She simply reacts by giving him a stick and telling him to fight them if they bother him again, in which he does (17-18). She attempts to make Richard tenacious and independent in this particular situation because she believes this is the only way he can survive. Although he was abandoned, afraid, and discouraged he still overcame all of that, initiating the development of his independence. In this instance in Wright’s life, he is almost forced to be independent because of the irresponsibility of his father. In life, arduous situations may cause an individual to have a lot more responsibility put on them. Think about a time in your life where you had to be responsible when things didn’t turn out to your liking. Responsibility forms independence. During most of Richard’s adolescent years, he is often disciplined through the church and religion mainly because of his grandmother and Aunt Addie. For instance when Richard said, â€Å"I could not get a job that would let me rest on Granny’s holy Sabbath.†(133), it showed that strict religion was enforced upon him stripping him of freedom to do things. However, Richard did not allow that to get in his way, and he took hold of his desires whether Granny liked it or not. Also, at very few moments during this time he comes very close to being influenced by religion; â€Å"While listening to the vivid language of the sermons I was pulled towards emotional belief, but as soon as I went out of the church †¦ I knew that none of it was true and that nothing would happen.†(102). This instance, and the many other instances where his grandmother had gotten people to attempt to influence Richard religiously, shows how uneasily influenced Richard is, and does not feel the need to agree with everyone else so that he can fit in. When Richard refuses the church and religion at all, he shows his independence and that he does not have be a part of something that he is indifferent about, no matter who may be attempting to influence him. Sometimes being disciplined by someone can also cause you to be independent, because you understand the responsibility of not â€Å"overstepping† boundaries; but, sometimes you must overstep them to prove that you are your own person. Finally, as a young boy it is recognized in the novel that Richard is not like most of the other people around him. He is a passionate reader and writer, and most of the people he lives and associates himself with are skeptical and puzzled at his hunger for knowledge. In one instance Richard writes a story, The Voodoo of Hell’s Half-Acre, and almost everyone he knows discourages his writing, except a newspaper editor (165-166). He learns to be independent from both his family and friends subjugation and discouragement of his writing. Also, when Richard joins the Communist Party they do not always except him, or the things that he does (ch.18). Once again Wright has been put down and suppressed, yet he remains the same. Sometimes being independent does not only make you responsible, disciplined, and individualistic, but a strong person altogether. If you cannot handle the adversities of life, you’ll never finish your journey and never really experience life for yourself. To conclude, Richard Wright has definitely proven through the novel Black Boy that he is a very independent individual. Wright is showing that the things that may be disguised as nothing but trouble are actually opportunities to grow into this thing we call a human being; this includes being an independent, self-reliant person. Through all of the disappointments, pain, and depressing times in his life he remained liberated and accepted the responsibilities he had to accomplish as a young man, which involved him even disciplining himself just to show his independence and maturity. Also, his independence developed who he wanted to be, and not what others wanted him to be. In the end the universal theme of this essay is that it is vitally important to be a self-sufficient, independent person and who you want to be, not who others want you to be, and knowing that adversities aren’t made to hurt you but to make you stronger. â€Å"Open your eyes look within. Are you satisfied with the life youre living?†- Bob Marley.

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