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ShAnNoN's fLiPpIn AwEsOmE PaGe

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 5 months ago





Ok so i pretty much am hating this book.  I think its super boring!

First off in the begining of the book he starts his grandparents house on fire and his mom beats him nearly to death. This seems to happen a lot, his mom loves to beat the shit out of him. which is why at first i really didn't like the mother at all. All she seemed to do was beat Richard. She was never a very happy women.

Then they move to memphis, and he kills a kitten to spite his father. That was disturbing. His father then leaves his mother for another women and refuses to pay child support, she brings him to court, and the court sides with the father. Then richard starts to hang by a saloon and becomes a drunk at the age of like 7.... he gets taught to say dirty things to people, and begs people to buy him drinks.

The mother can't support her kids any more so she puts them in an orphanage. Her mother eventually gets them out of the orphanage and they go live with their aunt maggie (their mothers younger sister) and their uncle Hoskins, but then the Hoskins gets killed by some white men who are jealous of his saloon success. so they all flee back to the grandma's house, but they don't like living there because the grandma is so crazy about her religion. So they move to west helena and get a place of their own, but then maggie flees with her boyfriend who is running from the law.

Then the mother has a stroke that leaves her slightly paralyzed and they have to go live with grandma. All Richard's aunts and uncles convene and decide that they must separate the boys and they will go live with one of them. Richard decides to go with Uncle clark. But after he learns that some kid died in the bedroom he is staying with at Uncle clark's he decides to go back to granny's...

Hunger is a large problem at granny's.... it is actually a large re-occuring theme in the book.. He is always hungry... Tons of problems arise at granny's when richard is living there. Granny doesn't like richard because he reads, and she thinks its full of sin or something, she is a 7th day activist, and tries really hard to reform him.

Then his aunt Addie lives with them too and she starts teaching at a religious school and richard must go to it. Addie and Richard hate each other and Addie beats richard for no reason. They keep bumping heads until Richard threatens her with a knife. Then uncle Tom moves into granny's too, and him and richard get into a fight and richard fends him off with razor blades. Nobody but his mother really likes Richard. Richard begins to really like reading and writing and submits a story to the news paper called "the voo-doo of hell's half acre".

He graduates from 9th grade as validvictorian and is asked to give a speech. he and the principal bump heads because the principal wants Richard to read the speach that  he (the principal) wrote and richard wants to read the one he himself wrote.


Richard gets random jobs here and there trying to save up money so he can move out of Granny's and escape to somewhere north. He works at a hotel, then a movie theater where him and a couple other people work out a scam to rip off the movie theater. Richard saves up enough money to leave and he goes to Chicago where he stays at a hotel place that a family owns. The women who owns it has a daughter and they try to hook Richard up with her. The daughter wants to marry Richard. Once Richard got a job and saved up enough money he had his mom and brother come to Chicago to live with him. Through out his time in Chicago, Richard experiences many situations of racism. While working in a lense maker place the white guys trick him and another black boy into a boxing match......Richard also at this time is reading a lot, he got one of the jewish guys he works with to lend him his library card so he can go get books. Then he sells insurace, and sleeps with the girls he is suppose to be collecting money from, they sleep with him in exchange for him playing their bill...He works for a hospital where they experiment with treatments on animals.

I'm sick of summing up the book... pretty much he just keeps getting random jobs to support his family. He eventually gets a job at a post office and meets an irish guy who he can relate to. He gets into this club where they sit and talk about how smart they are.

He meets a bunch of communist and is eventually converted into being a communist. He works for a couple magazines and begins to write ariticles for them. He gets voted into one of the top positions...



So this richard kid has a really hard childhood. His mom doesn't seem like a very nice lady because she beats him nearly to death in the begining of the book, and several times after that. But she grew on me quite a bit after she got sick and her husband left her. She seemed to be the only one who really cared about Richard. I was pretty disturbed when he hung a kitten to spite his father, but i understood his wanting to make his father feel bad. He did it to prove a point which i get. You end up hating his father, because he left his family for another women and wouldn't pay any child support. He pretty much said screw you to his family and left. Richard says though that the next time he saw his father he was working in a field, so you feel a little better, like he got what was coming to him.

He is always hungry which is something i can't relate to, i mean if i'm hungry i eat and thats the end of it, but he doesn't get that luxury, he says repeatedly in the book how he was hungry his whole life, and he couldn't get certain jobs because he didn't meet the weight requirements. I can't imagin going through my whole life being hungry. I thought it was pretty funny that he became a drunk at the age of 7, then kicked the habit by like age 8.



School seemed like an on/off thing. He went when they could afford to go. I would think that it would be so unorganized to go for a year, stop, then go back, then stop, then go back, especially since he changes schools so often. He seems to get along with other kids, i mean he usually has to get into a fight to prove that he won't be messed with but he gains some respect. He doesn't really talk about any personal or intimate relationships in the book. He never talks about having like a best friend or a girl friend or ever being in love. He seemed to be very independent and self efficient. He seems to shut people out to a certain extent...


I feel like its because he thinks he is so much better then everyone else. He has this large superiority complex. It bothers me. All he does through out the whole book is complain about how ignorant negroes are. He thinks he is such an intellectual. He doesnt really talk to many other black guys, i honeslty feel like is very ashamed he's african american. He doesn't have any pride in his heritage.


I was impressed though, with the fact that he took care of his mom and family over the course of his life, always working dead end jobs to pay the rent and put food on the table. His mom being a sick cripple would have been a really hard thing to deal with. He had to put all of his dreams aside for most of his life to help out his family.


The begining of the book was by far more interesting then the second part. At least in the begining there were events and inncidents that kept you reading it. There were climaxes and points where you wanted to keep reading, by the second half of the book i had to force myself to keep reading. I felt like he just rambled on and on. I understand that he was an amazing writer who wrote this amazing book about a black boys life and struggles and he is an acclaimed author. But as a 18 year old white girl in 2008, i have a lot of trouble relating to most of it. When he is a kid, some of the stuff i can relate to because some things are just kid things, but changing jobs so often, dealing with racism, unorganized schooling, sick mother, being beat, and so many other things he goes through i can't really compare notes with.


Richard Wright led a hard and extrordinary life. He went through a lot, and came out on top. I understand why people have so much respect for him and why this book is said to be so good, but it just didin't do it for me. It would have been better for me if the second half went more like the first, and he didn't ramble on about communism, and the ignorance of blacks. I felt like he was very repetitive in a lot of the things he said, which made it harder for me to keep reading.









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