In his prime, Richard Wright was considered a powerful voice for the black community during a period in history where the rise in racial limitation and injustice toward black people rapidly increased. Nevertheless, his autobiography Black Boy, intricately depicts an accurate account of social conflict within black culture and ostracizes the effects of antagonistic outside forces from whites to blacks during the civil rights movement. When reflecting upon Wright’s past works, many interpret him in a variation of ways.Critics examine Richard Wright’s literary piece and his personal lifestyle in sub divisions of gender, race, poverty, his affiliations and relationships with others, his representation of black America, and his controversially colorful opinion about issues pertaining to blacks at that time. Interesting enough, many critics analyze Wright not only by his works, but by his character. Richard Wright differentiates himself from other mainstream writers. He also manifests similar characteristics of some as well.
Violent situations, racial prejudice, and hostility often revolve around fictional characters in Richard Wright’s literature. Brutality seems to be a reoccurring theme in many of his literary pieces, especially in his autobiography, Black Boy. In this narrative, the author portrays himself as being victimized and a constant target of suffering. Theauthor struggles to survive in his environment despite pessimism. Wright goes to great lengths to construct himself as a “marginal man” throughout his entire autobiography. Even as early as his childhood, Wright feels like he has been wronged and persecuted to the point of no end by individuals in his family. The author and his mother move in with his grandmother because his mother is ill stricken and can’t afford to care for Wright by herself. Wright illustrates his grandmother as being very violent and harsh. His grandmother, along with the rest of his family, begin to isolate him when he refuses to convert himself to church and follow Christianity. After a while, his family just begins to ignore him all together.
Richard Wright also uses racial differentiation in his autobiography as a means to confirm that he is not only set apart from his biological family but distanced and persecuted for being black too by other ethnicities. The author endures racial prejudice when he becomes valedictorian of his class. He soon discovers that the principal will not allow him to give his own speech at the graduation ceremony because whites will be in attendance. Wright is secluded for refusing and giving his own speech. Later on in life, Richard Wright reflects on mishaps with racial prejudice and comments on its unreasoning nature.