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Black Boy Essay | Critical Essay #1

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Critical Essay #1

In the following essay, Dykema-Vander Ark, a doctoral candidate at Michigan State University, examines the autobiographical nature of Wright's Black Boy and how it shows Wright's belief in "the influence of environment on a person's actions and attitudes."

Richard Wright's reputation as one of the most influential figures in the tradition of African-American literature rests on two works in particular, his best-selling novel, Native Son (1940), and his autobiography, Black Boy (1945). In Native Son, Wright depicts in graphic physical and psychological detail the realities of a young black man's life under the pressures of a racist environment. In Black Boy, one might say that Wright turns the novelist's gaze to his own life, providing (as his subtitle indicates) "A Record of Childhood and Youth" that is at once informative as a historical account and gripping in the same way a novel can be. Blurring the boundaries between fiction and...

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This section contains 1,965 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Black Boy Study Guide
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Black Boy from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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