Diction In Richard Wright's Black Boy

Words: 551
Pages: 3

This text is an excerpt from Chapter 2 of Richard Wright’s Black Boy. Richard currently values knowledge because he realizes knowledge is power. This passage occurs while he is at his grandma’s house. Richard is also very curious and he sees Ella reading and starts to ask her to be read to. Richard’s grandmother comes out and starts to yell at them both because she hates literature. Although he was told that literature is bad he learned that he loves it. Throughout the passage Richard convinces the readers that literature is very important and how impactful it is.

Wright uses a hunger motif and desiring diction to show how literature can be very impactful. After being told by his grandma he can no longer be read to or read books he says, “I hungered for the sharp, frightening,
…show more content…
While being read to by Ella he says, “The tale made the world around me be, throb, live. As she spoke, reality changed, the look of things altered, and the world became peopled with magical presences” (39). By using the word phrases “be, throb, live,” and “peopled with magical presences,” Wright illustrates that literature gives him another feeling that he loves. This surreal diction reveals that literature is important to Richard and it makes him feel a new type of way. While realizing how important literature was to him he says, “I had tasted what to me was life, and I would have more of it, somehow, someway, I realized that they could not understand what I was feeling and I kept quiet” (40). By employing the word phrases, “I had tasted what to me was life,” Wright illustrates how important literature was to him that he considered literature to be life. This emotional diction reveals that literature was everything to Wright and it was very important to him. Richard realized that literature was his new passion because of how important it was to him and how it made him