Big Black man Essay

Submitted By llanosblaze
Words: 764
Pages: 4

Blaze Llanos
10/10/2013
Assignment 1
“Big Black Good man:” Olaf’s Inadequacies.

Olaf, an average man with an average life has an average job that he sees as respectable and he believes his life is good. However, when he saw Jim for the first time, his life turned upside-down. His own inner fears overcome him. His own insecurities gripped himself. With each passing day, the fears and hatred became more obvious in his thoughts. In “Big Black Good Man”, because the author uses jealousy, insecurity, fear and admiration, the underlying factors of male inadequacy comes to light.

From the onset of the story, Olaf begins to verbalize about how well his life turned out; while he secretly wished that he had had a better life and for a better reality. Whether he referenced his wife, his successful crops or traveling the world, Olaf uses these triumphs as hyperbole of what is really a melancholy life; desiring to rather be with many women, his infertility or the void he felt in not achieving greatness. Olaf questioned that “Maybe I could of got rich if I’d stayed in America” (208). When asked how much money the big black man has to put away, and Jim responds, “Two thousand six hundred” (210), Olaf’s expression brings his jealousy full circle. The smallness in every aspect of Olaf’s life, compared to the perceived largeness of Jim’s, was too much for Olaf to handle.
As evidenced from the initial confrontation with Jim, Olaf is overtaken by a sense of inadequacy, referring instantaneously to Jim as a “black giant” (209). Even though this was Olaf’s workplace, the person in command was Jim. A man never wants to feel like a visitor in his own home. Yet with Jim’s stature and demeanor, Olaf could not help but feel that he was small. Enroute to the room, Jim takes his own bag, suggesting that he knows Olaf is the weaker man. Jim playfully mocks Olaf saying, “That’s too heavy for you, big boy; I’ll take it” (210). Without a word of anger, or any hint of danger, Olaf allowed his insecurities to surrender himself and feel beaten. The chastising that began from the original conversation, to the awareness of his physical weakness made redefined how insignificant Jim considered Olaf.
It is natural for a man to size up to another, almost as natural as it is for one to know his place on the totem pole. Fear often times makes ones place more obvious. It was evident from the script, that both Jim and Olaf knew their respective and appropriate roles, particularly when Jim took such a relaxed tone towards Olaf, “You got a room?” (209), “big boy” (210), “Daddy-O” (216). It was also apparent that Olaf panicked at the pure thought of how big of a man that Jim was when thinking to himself, "too big, too black, too loud, and probably too violent. . ." (209) and “He could…