Richard Wright Writing Styles in Big Black Good Man

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Point of View

"Big Black Good Man" has a third-person narrator who tells the story from Olaf Jenson's point of view. The narrator is privy to Olaf's thoughts but not to Jim's. Through this device, Jim's thoughts and intentions remain as much a mystery to readers as they are to Olaf. This means that readers see Jim through Olaf's eyes and at the same time through the lens of their own experiences and attitudes. The result is a heightening of tension and suspense. On one level, the reader gets caught up in Olaf's blind fear of Jim. At the same time, the reader stands outside the story and so has a different, more detached perspective. Depending upon his or her own race, age, and attitudes, the reader may have responses that closely match Olaf's or that conflict with them. Readers, therefore, struggle to resolve not only the tension between...

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This section contains 425 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Big Black Good Man Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
Big Black Good Man from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.