Many times I was left speechless and at times laughed at the innocence of a child who knew no better and was forced to grow up too fast and learn things on his own. There was the hint of cosmic cruelty that I felt when I saw the curved timbers of a wooden shack that had been warped in the summer sun. Solace came when I wandered about the boat and gazed at Negroes throwing dice, drinking whisky, playing cards, lolling on boxes, eating, talking, and singing. Soon a sheet of yellow lit the room. Usually this happens between men and women, so a man will give Richard a drink and pay him a few pennies to go to a woman in the bar and repeat certain things that he has trained Richard to say. I did not want to see him.
There was the speechless astonishment of seeing a hog stabbed through the heart, dipped into boiling water, scraped, split open, gutted, and strung up gaping and bloody. There's a lot in between too, all blanketed in hunger, violence, racial tensions, and fear. I'm going north when I get grown. I just sort of fell into it, only coming up for air for pesky things like work. An emotionally devastating passage, one to which Richard does not return in the memoir.
Smoke obscured the vision and cinders drifted into the house, into our beds, into our kitchen, into our food; and a tarlike smell was always in dhe air. Queste ed altre domande si pone, anche Richard in questo libro autobiografico. I had made him know that I felt he was cruel and I had done it without his punishing me. A stinging slap came on my jaw. Aunt Maggie ran to the door and flung it open.
The next morning I asked my mother who had been in the house, and she told me that no one had been there. Slightly off topic: I highly suggest you follow the link above to the Yale Course and check it out, as well as their other free YouTube courses. My head spun and I laughed. It seemed that I had been hiding for ages, and when the stomping and the screaming died down I felt lonely, cast forever out of life. I finally found my grocery list and the money and went to the store. My tension returned, new, terrible, bitter, surging, almost too great to be contained. I just felt there was a jarring disconnect, because he was being so heartfelt and honest about his personal experiences with discrimination and coming of age in a divided America, that the Communist part while fascinating, just felt like it belonged in a different book.
When asked to perform in school, or to accept the attention of Miss Simon at the orphanage, he turns cold and cannot respond. I had done something wrong, something which I could not hide or deny. He had said to kill the kitten and I would kill it! The boys later told me the name of it, but I had no exact conception of it in my mind. All the traditions, habits, laws, and loyalties of a civilized society were removed from black people when they arrived as slaves in the New World. It occurred to me, that at this point in the book, his style changed, and this observation allowed me to ponder again something that Phillip had said about my first workshop submission—that my writing in that piece tended more to the sociological than to the literary. She looked out of the door and shook her head. Crickets would cry from the grass.
My mother held to her idea and 28 one night a week or so later I found myself standing in a room in a frame house. No, I could not go on. And there was the quiet terror that suffused my senses when vast hazes of gold washed earthward from star-heavy skies on silent nights. I asked myself if these human qualities were not fostered, won, struggled and suffered for, preserved in ritual from one generation to an- other. His mother's influence on him is naturally strong. And I was angry, fretful, and impatient.
After prayer Aunt Maggie told us that she and Professor Matthews were leaving soon for the North. To the fat Jewish woman we sneered: Red, white, and blue Your pa was a Jew Your ma a dirty Dago What the hell is you? At the time of its publication in 1944, the Book of the Month Club is a hugely influential marketing tool, and their board decides that they don't want the second section at all, and in fact that is what Richard Wright agrees to. How could I hit back at him? No, this is generic: that kind of upbringing was the best-intentioned attempt by Richard's family to beat out of him a characteristic that might prove fatal to a black man living under the Jim Crow statutes: a sense of self-worth. I walked slowly down the sidewalk, coming closer to the gang of boys, holding the stick tightly. He dragged me into the back yard and the instant his hand left me I jumped to my feet and broke into a wild run, trying to elude the people who surrounded me, heading for the street. My mother called to me many times, but I would not go to her.
Again I tried to run, but I could not budge. She left and I ached with bore- dom. There was the great joke that I felt God had played on cats and dogs by making them lap their milk and water with their tongues. I was in Italy with my family on spring break and I was required to read Black Boy for my english class. If I covered a mirror when a storm was raging, the lightning would not strike me. But the father says he is doing all he can, that he has no more money, and the judge accepts his argument. Richard never questions his mother's love for him, and although he rarely mentions demonstrations of affection and stresses the negative aspects of his family life, the love between him and his mother is taken for granted.