Conformity In Black Boy

1374 Words6 Pages
Curiosity makes the mind more active, observant, and it opens up more possibilities to the mind. Black Boy, by Richard Wright, tells a story about a young black boy discovering what is expected of him in the Jim Crow South. Richard is a black boy in the South that lives in constant poverty. He is interested in what possibilities the world has to offer, so he wants to move North where he will not be held back by the ways of life in the South. Throughout the story, Richard is met by characters Granny, Aunt Addie, and Griggs, who tell him to conform to different expectations. Richard’s non-conformity and curiosity make him determined for success. As a non-conformist, Richard must make decisions that create his character. As a young child, Richard…show more content…
Richard exerts a fair amount of optimism throughout the book. One occasion is when Richard starts going to Jim Hill public school . He is placed in the fifth grade initially, but he moves up to sixth grade in the span of two weeks. This shows how positivity affects him. Richard and his ambitions had been let down when his mom had a stroke. He felt as if he could not chase his dreams anymore because he had to take care of his family. But now that he has skipped a grade, Richard feels so smart that he can become a doctor. This affirms that positive events are just what Richard needs for himself, so he feels that he can make a bright future for himself. In the same way, Richard shows his determination through the many high hopes he has. When thinking about the possibilities that life has to offer, Richard comments, “Because my environment was bare and bleak, I endowed it with unlimited potentialities” (73). This shows Richard’s determination to get out of poverty. He had very little while living in Natchez, Memphis, the orphanage, Elaine, and Jackson. To fill the voids in his life, he makes up scenarios in his head to keep his spirit up. Richard often tries to keep the possibility of something positive in his head. This mindset develops his character because it unveils that Richard wants fortunate events to happen for him and that he is aware that there is a possibility for a better life for himself. As a result, Richard shows his desire to create a satisfying life by wanting to move North. He had to save up money to travel North. With the money he was being paid, it would take too long for Richard to save enough money. To make money quicker, Richard steals money from a movie theater, he steals a gun from his neighbor so he could sell it, and he steals food from a college storehouse. This allowed Richard to go North. Richard was not a thief, but when desperation strikes him,
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