An Analysis of Richard Wright’s “The Man Who Was Almost a Man”

“The Man Who Was Almost a Man” is a short story that chronicles the misfortunes of a teenage boy named Dave, and, in distinction to a few of Wright’s darker tales, this textual content is a humorous satire. The texts welcomes its viewers to come and snort at Dave, who can simply be seen as a silly character both by his actions and the literary elements of the story. Of course, this text is comical, however not with out function. “The Man Who Was Almost a Man” is a mocking of the ideation of masculinity adopted by America throughout Wright’s life.

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Dave’s objectives in the story are very clear from the beginning; he wants to get a gun, assuming that the other men “would should respect him” if he had one. However, the merciless and comedic irony of the story is that, at the end, he is in bother with his parents and everyone appears to be laughing at him, despite him proudly owning this gun that he was positive was going to be good for his image and provides him respect.

Not only do the characters in the story discover Dave foolish, but the audience is supposed to see him as a idiot as nicely. Of course, neither the characters nor the audience think the gun inside itself is funny and foolish, it is Dave’s actions which are humorous within the story.

Dave actions, are, too, ironic. Despite considering he’s now a man because he owns a gun (or is about to own a gun), he doesn’t act like one.

In truth, it’s controversial that Dave behaves increasingly like a child as he progresses in his quest of manhood. Firstly, after inquiring about buying the gun, he goes home and asks his mother for the money. Masculinity, particularly in Wright’s lifetime, included being financially independent and the monetary leader of the household. Not only is Dave not able to make use of his own cash, as it is being managed by his mother and father, however he must ask his mom, a lady, for the useful resource. Even what he says doesn’t help along with his infantile picture. He states, “Ma, ef yuh lemme purchase one Ah’ll never ast yuh fer nothing no mo,” which is very generally heard in desperate kids. His mother exclaims the plain, “Yuh ain nothing but a boy yit!” Dave appears to ignore this assertion. He doesn’t verbally agree together with his mom, however he doesn’t try to contradict her, both.

Perhaps Dave’s most infantile motion is trying to cover from his responsibilities, when a sign of one’s maturity and maturity is accepting duty for your actions. Dave, with out correct data of the means to use a gun, starts taking pictures it off and by accident shoots the mule he’s working with, Jenny. Although he tries to fix the wound, she dies. Instead of explaining to his boss, Hawkins, what occurred, Dave buries the gun and tries to lie about it. However, an older man explains it appears like a bullet hole, exposing Dave. Wright then writes, “Dave looked at Jenny’s stiff legs and commenced to cry,” one other seemingly unmasculine action.

Dave additional refuses responsibility by not paying back Hawkins for the mule. Instead, he takes the gun, runs away from residence, and hops on a prepare. Now, the ending of this story may be interpreted differently depending on the reader. Many adults can recall making an attempt to run away from home as youngsters; it is simply a sort of things youngsters are inclined to do. Therefore, they can interpret running away as another one of Dave’s infantile antics. However, a youthful reader may even see the romantized writing of the ending and see Dave’s running away as a heroic and masculine deed, a push for independence. However, if one seems back on the textual content and applies logic, Dave’s plan wasn’t nicely thought out; Dave doesn’t mention figuring out anybody within the place he is planning to go, so he has no human connections. He additionally doesn’t have any money or food. All he’s carrying is his treasured, however ultimately ineffective, gun, since he emptied the cartridge earlier than hopping the train. Even if Dave ended up earning money wherever he went, Dave by no means spent any of his own cash; his mom took care of it understanding he wouldn’t invest it, similar to buying new garments for college. All in all, Dave doesn’t seem to have what it takes to go out on his personal yet; he is still a baby.

There is an overriding sense of dramatic irony in this piece that categorizes it as a satire, and the story can used and interpreted by different audiences as an entire because of this cause. Dave has a one observe mind that keeps getting him into bother; he thinks that just because he has a gun and a potential to be violent, he’s mechanically a person. An audience that better understands the multi-faceted and sophisticated thought that’s masculinity can sit again and laugh at this silly character. However, an audience that has an identical mindset to Dave can see his silly actions and ambiguous-but-most-likely-unhappy ending and really feel foolish inside themselves. Here, they might be inspired to alter their mindset, seeing Dave’s story as a prophetic, cautionary tale. Wright’s objective of the story was to not only entertain those that know more about life than Dave, but also inspire a younger generation to suppose about their manhood in phrases greater than a handful of steel.

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