Length: 2 Pages 554 Words

Black Boy: The Meaning of American Hunger When a person thinks about hunger, food comes to mind. We never think of hunger as anything else. In Richard Wright's book titled Black Boy (American Hunger), a young boy faces many different types of hunger. He refers to the phrase American Hunger throughout his book. I feel that the American Hunger which he is referring to is the hunger to be considered an American and be treated as an equal. Throughout his life he was treated as if he were from another planet. He was always considered to be different, an outcast and a loser. He felt the need to be a part of the so-called American Culture. He wanted to be able to do what the white children did. He wanted to be able to go to school, to learn, to read, have friends, have a job; but because he was an African American he could n Continue...

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His self education began when a co-worker lent Richard his library card to read Mencken's essays. Richard was so eager to learn that he kept constantly asking questions, and if his questions were left unanswered he would let his imagination take over. He feels the need to go to school because it is his aspiration to become a writer. " This is just one of the many phrases he said in which he did not know the meaning. He wants to fit in with others and be able to be apart of America. His intellectual hunger came about when his father left his family starving which led to Richards physical hunger. This is what I will be discussing in this paper his intellectual hunger. He continues to learn and to play dumb for his own survival. There is one incident in which his schoolteacher read to him. By reading and learning through co-workers he learned how to deal with others, whether they are black or white. Through his eagerness to learn he began to understand himself, other blacks, and whites better. His reading puzzled his Aunt Maggie for she could not understand why someone would be reading just for fun because they liked it.