Chapter 4 Notes from Black Boy

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Black Boy Chapter 4

Living again with his grandmother, Richard is obliged to pretend to follow her religion. He is believed to be a sinner, and in Granny's eyes, that could damn the whole house. However, she finds an ally in her struggle for his soul in his Aunt Addie. Only nine years older than Richard and fervently religious, she teaches at the Seventh-day Adventist school at which he is forced to enroll. Even more fanatical than Granny, she beats him repeatedly in order to dominate him, because she is worried that having a relative in her class will make her look weak in the eyes of the other students. Richard will not stand for it, and fights back against her, to the dismay of all the older members of his family, who believe in respect.

Topic Tracking: Loneliness 4

With his entire family and most of his friends longing for him to find God, Richard feels guilty, and tries to explain to Granny that if he were to see a miracle, like an angel, he would believe. She thinks he means that he HAS seen an angel, and tells the preacher, who announces it in public. When the truth comes out, Granny is humiliated into silence and Richard burns with shame. He gets baptized. He writes a morbid story about a little girl, and when he shows it to people they can't understand why he wrote it. This reaction pleases him for some reason he does not understand.

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