Richard Wright's The Man Who Was Almost A Man

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“Ahmol enough to hava gun. Ahm seventeen. Almost a man.”The Man Who Was Almost a Man, by Richard Write, is about young boy named Dave Saunders as he struggles to prove to the people around him that he is a man. Dave’s frustrates by being poor, young, and black he desires to wrestle with the strain of wanting to be an adult. In the story, Wright matches his own experiences and immaturity in order to represent the fate of young black males at the time. Dave’s yearning to be a “man” is evident in his relentless search for validation through the power of the gun. Dave’s desire to own a gun shows a determined and intellectual need to make himself known in the community as an empowered man. Everything that Dave badly desires, authority, admiration, and masculinity, the gun represents. Dave sees the gun as the solution to all his problems and with it he will have no weaknesses. For Dave, owning a gun will keep others from treating him like a child. In some ways Dave’s independence is represented by the gun. According to Modern American Poetry in “Richard Wright’s Life”…show more content…
Dave’s absence of education can be seen as a symbol for the hardships Wright and millions of other African Americans faced. His ambition to achieve adulthood blinds him from understanding the obligations that come with manhood. Living in a life of barely making a living, Dave lacks the maturity and education to make his life better. Wright uses Dave to demonstrate the damaging effect of racism and the lack of prospect for black Americans. Dave states that he “could kill a man with a gun like this. Kill anybody, black or white. And if he were holding his gun in his hand, nobody could run over him; they would have to respect him” (pg.215). Dave never takes another person’s life with the gun, however, he fantasizes about killing and intimidating those who are in control of his

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