The man who was almost a man

Intro- Black and white relations have not been too good, starting way back to the older cicil rights days. In Richard Wright’s “The Man Who was Almost a Man”, Dave a young black boy learns a lot about becoming a man in a completely different society as today. Through symbolism, setting, and dialogue, it is possible to tell the difference between the life of the white male, and the black male.

Body 1- The gun in this literature is symbolized for being a man. Dave has never held a gun before, nor shot one. He has always thought that there was a rite of passage that his parents, majorly his father, where his father should give him a gun to make him a man. So Dave being the curious little child, he goes and gets 2 dollars to buy a handgun. But he does not know how to use it so its not a good choice on his part. “Oh, it’s kinda old … a left-hand Wheeler. A pistol. A big one.” – shop owner. This quote shows that the shop owner barely knows what he is doing either. Overall the intelligence of both of these characters is very low. Jennie was on the other side of the gun when it was fired. That poor mule shot for no reason, he had done nothing wrong but be in the wrong place at the wrong place. “Lissen here, Jenny! When Ah pull this ol trigger, Ah don wan yuh t run n acka fool now!” – Dave. When dave shot the mule he felt great remorse for his actions, although all he was worried about was his parents finding out. Although he admitted it anyways. The owners of the mule charged $50 for the replacement mule, and his parents ordered him to get rid of the gun. In a way the gun was his manhood, but in some way so was the mule so they both crossed out and now he has neither, and is back where he started, maybe even further behind from being a man. Dave has a lot to work on.

Body 2- Black and whites have always been separated somehow since the beginning of time. Although there is not much physically different other than color, some people like to take advantage of their minority. Back in the older days, in the south there was plenty of slavery going around. Such as cotton pickers, and farming. Though in these days they still actually got paid, just not as much. A typical white family would have a big house, a lot of land, and a lot of slaves, which would be the black family. The black families would usually live in the spare house, or shack that the white family had spare. They then would settle in and start working. This difference in living locations was very severely unfair. The white man got to sit in all day and make money, while the black man was on his feet all day to make an unfair pay. Although it was better than forcing them to do it for free. “Well, if he had to, he would take old man Hawkins that two dollars. But that meant selling the gun. And he wanted to keep that gun. Fifty dollars for a dead mule.”- Dave he was forced to sell his gun, and pay this $50. He had to give up his man hood (his gun) for the debts he created using it, or deaths he created.


Body 3-The basic environment in “The Man Who Was Almost A Man”, was mostly farmland possibly somewhere around the 19th century, or earlier. Back when slavery was still around. Back in the day it was whites that owned the blacks. So the communities were mostly white, but in non-rural areas there were families of black slaves working on farms, for the rich white folk. The white usually were rich and the black always were poor. It would be a rare thing to find a poor white man. Also it was rare to find a male white working on a farm, without some help from a black slave. These times are different from everything that is in the usual life, in the 20th century. Socially it goes from the male whites, to the white women, then to the black community. The dream of the white man was to own a good business, as in the black families suffered towards having a good future. What was wrong with the whites was their personality was they were cocky, as the black families were nicer about it. Overall the relationship is okay, not too bad but it could be better, after all there is no more slavery!


In conclusion Dave lives a completely different life than the life of a white man. Dave learns through dialogue, setting and symbolism that the white man had an easier way of life than the black man. Also that getting his manhood through a gun was not the way. Overall White males had it a lot easier back then the life of a black male.




Intro- Black and white relations have not been too good, starting way back to the older cicil rights days. In Richard Wright’s “The Man Who was Almost a Man”, Dave a young black boy learns a lot about becoming a man in a completely different society as today. Through symbolism, setting, and dialogue, it is possible to tell the difference between the life of the white male, and the black male.

Body 1- The gun in this literature is symbolized for being a man. Dave has never held a gun before, nor shot one. He has always thought that there was a rite of passage that his parents, majorly his father, where his father should give him a gun to make him a man. So Dave being the curious little child, he goes and gets 2 dollars to buy a handgun. But he does not know how to use it so its not a good choice on his part. “Oh, it’s kinda old … a left-hand Wheeler. A pistol. A big one.” – shop owner. This quote shows that the shop owner barely knows what he is doing either. Overall the intelligence of both of these characters is very low. Jennie was on the other side of the gun when it was fired. That poor mule shot for no reason, he had done nothing wrong but be in the wrong place at the wrong place. “Lissen here, Jenny! When Ah pull this ol trigger, Ah don wan yuh t run n acka fool now!” – Dave. When dave shot the mule he felt great remorse for his actions, although all he was worried about was his parents finding out. Although he admitted it anyways. The owners of the mule charged $50 for the replacement mule, and his parents ordered him to get rid of the gun. In a way the gun was his manhood, but in some way so was the mule so they both crossed out and now he has neither, and is back where he started, maybe even further behind from being a man. Dave has a lot to work on.

Body 2- Black and whites have always been separated somehow since the beginning of time. Although there is not much physically different other than color, some people like to take advantage of their minority. Back in the older days, in the south there was plenty of slavery going around. Such as cotton pickers, and farming. Though in these days they still actually got paid, just not as much. A typical white family would have a big house, a lot of land, and a lot of slaves, which would be the black family. The black families would usually live in the spare house, or shack that the white family had spare. They then would settle in and start working. This difference in living locations was very severely unfair. The white man got to sit in all day and make money, while the black man was on his feet all day to make an unfair pay. Although it was better than forcing them to do it for free. “Well, if he had to, he would take old man Hawkins that two dollars. But that meant selling the gun. And he wanted to keep that gun. Fifty dollars for a dead mule.”- Dave he was forced to sell his gun, and pay this $50. He had to give up his man hood (his gun) for the debts he created using it, or deaths he created.


Body 3-The basic environment in “The Man Who Was Almost A Man”, was mostly farmland possibly somewhere around the 19th century, or earlier. Back when slavery was still around. Back in the day it was whites that owned the blacks. So the communities were mostly white, but in non-rural areas there were families of black slaves working on farms, for the rich white folk. The white usually were rich and the black always were poor. It would be a rare thing to find a poor white man. Also it was rare to find a male white working on a farm, without some help from a black slave. These times are different from everything that is in the usual life, in the 20th century. Socially it goes from the male whites, to the white women, then to the black community. The dream of the white man was to own a good business, as in the black families suffered towards having a good future. What was wrong with the whites was their personality was they were cocky, as the black families were nicer about it. Overall the relationship is okay, not too bad but it could be better, after all there is no more slavery!


In conclusion Dave lives a completely different life than the life of a white man. Dave learns through dialogue, setting and symbolism that the white man had an easier way of life than the black man. Also that getting his manhood through a gun was not the way. Overall White males had it a lot easier back then the life of a black male.





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