Chapter 3 Notes from Black Boy

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Black Boy Chapter 3

Family life gets worse when Mrs. Wright has a stroke. She is bedridden and unable to work, and Richard has a hard time accepting charity from neighbors. It is then decided that he and his brother should live with relatives, though they must be separated because no one has enough money to care for two children. Richard goes to live with his Uncle Clark and Aunt Jody because they live nearest to his mother. They are nice to him, but they are also somewhat cold. They discipline him and tell him which chores he is to complete, but he never feels at home there. He cannot get used to being made to live a certain way, especially by people he does not know. Then he discovers that a boy died in the bed he has been sleeping in. It terrifies him so much he cannot sleep. He asks to return to his mother and is allowed to do so. Again he has rejected comfort and food in favor of his own ideas. He says:

"At the age of twelve, before I had had one full year of formal schooling, I had a conception of life that no experience would ever erase, a predilection for what was real that no argument could ever gainsay, a sense of the world that was mine and mine alone, a notion as to what life meant that no education could ever alter, a conviction that the meaning of living came only when one was struggling to wring a meaning out of meaningless suffering." Chapter 3, pg. 100

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