Richard Wright's The Man Who Was Almost A Man

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Richard Wright’s, “The Man Who Was Almost a Man”, outlines the events leading up to Dave’s escape from his hometown. Dave’s society hindered him from maturing into manhood because they treated him like a child. For example, his mother keeps the money he earns from Mr. Hawkins and she directs when and how the money is spent. For this reason, Dave must employ child-like methods (by giving her hugs and sweet talking her) in order to convince his mom of the things he wants (Wright 902). Furthermore, the other field hands mock and tease Dave just because he is younger-adding on to the child-like treatment he already receives. In addition, even when Dave attempts to exert his masculinity, he ultimately fails. He is unsuccessful because no one has …show more content…
In doing so, he is no longer controlled by the directive of others, he can now attempt to be a man without any hindrances. He can control his finances, learn to practice shooting a gun without the fear of being caught, and he can find another occupation instead of being Mrs. Hawkins’ farmhand. However, they’re also some setbacks or consequences to his freedom. He no longer has a home, a mother who will place a meal on the table, and he has to learn to care for himself, while finding an occupation that will meet his needs. Overall, he needs to find a place that will encourages his manhood, while simultaneously providing the employment opportunities he needs in order to survive and thrive. Yet again, this is what the American Dream is all about. A person willing to make the sacrifices needed, while working hard to attain their goals. Dave wants to be a man; as a result, he has given up his hometown and family. Now, he must work hard to take care of himself as he matures into a man. Interestingly, by learning to take care of himself, Dave is actually becoming a man. So, in a way, the circle is complete because Dave is able to make his American Dream a