Survival In Richard Wright's Black Boy

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Winston Churchill once said, “We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself as the means of inspiration and survival.” Richard Wright’s experiences in his personal narrative Black Boy embodies this idea perfectly. In this narrative, a typical trip to the grocery store turns into a matter of survival as he is attacked by a group of assailants trying to obtain his money. This situation forces him to do what is necessary in order persevere through the dark poverty stricken times. With survival as his inspiration, Wright finds the courage to fight back. Through these experiences, Wright learns that sometimes dire situations require extreme actions. In the beginning of his narrative, Wright presents himself as a little boy that is childish and…show more content…
His family is clearly poverty stricken, and is living with as much as they can. From a young age Wright had to “…learn as soon as possible to take care of ourselves, to dress ourselves, to prepare our own food; that we must take upon ourselves the responsibility of the flat while she worked” (). He had to learn and do things no normal boy would in order to live through his family’s hardships. No matter how young he was, he did what he had to in order to endure the obstacles thrown at him. After the second time he is attacked and comes running home. Although his mother loved him, she makes the decision of not letting him inside the house. “My mother was telling me to fight, a thing that she had never done before” (). She makes him understand that he couldn’t take the easy way out, but face his problems head on. After Wright finds the courage to go back to the boys, he realizes, “If I were beaten at home, there was absolutely nothing that I could do about it; but if I were beaten in the streets, I had a chance to fight and defend myself” (). He is presented with two situations where he could either do nothing in return, or try and resist against it. In this desperate situation, he chooses the one where he had to act against himself in order to persevere through his

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