Richard Wright's Black Boy

793 Words4 Pages
The word “Intrigue” can be defined as, “to arouse the curiosity or interest of by unusual, new, or otherwise fascinating or compelling qualities.” In the autobiography Black Boy, Richard Wright’s mission is to not only inform his readers about the treachery of growing up in the heart of Southern racism during the early 1900s, but to share the story of his love affair with learning, which begins with a small spark of intrigue that grows into a raging fire. Despite the many obstacles that are thrown towards him, Richard’s craving for knowledge keeps him motivated to move forward with his life because it provides him with a sense of enlightenment and comfort. Learning new things is prioritized above all of Richard’s other desires. Richard experiences…show more content…
Bread and butter bestow Richard with temporary relief from physical cravings; reading and unfolding the mysteries of the world allows him to discover new perspectives of the cruel and damaging society that he lives in. Richard’s first encounter with the love of his life—literature—takes place when he notices that Ella, the schoolteacher who is taking up residence with Richard’s grandmother, is reading a book. Fascinated, Richard begs Ella to tell him all about this mysterious story that she calls Bluebeard and His Seven Wives. For the first time in his life, Richard is simultaneously struck by an overwhelming state of calm and frenzy. Wright explains to the reader that this sensation “made the world around [him] throb, live,” (39). Richard has stepped into a fantasy that he has only just begun to discover. This intrigue that Richard experiences, however, is not only limited to reading these thrilling stories. The young boy even begins to craft stories of his own, where he can create the world in any way that he pleases. Richard’s first short story, titled The Voodoo of Hell’s Half-Acre not only provides Richard with the ability to get lost in someone else’s adventures; he is given the power to express himself through a piece that Wright describes as “crudely atmospheric, emotional, intuitively psychological, and stemmed from pure feeling,” (165). This stimulation of Richard’s mind allows him to fill the emptiness in his soul that is left inside of him by the many obstacles that he experiences throughout his
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