Richard Wright Writing Styles in The Man Who Lived Underground

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Images and Imagery

Through the many episodes of "The Man Who Lived Underground," Wright weaves imagery of light and darkness, repeating, reinforcing, and inverting the Imagery to heighten the sense that the world is chaotic and ultimately unknowable. For the most part, the underground is the world of darkness, and the world above ground is the world of light. The faint light that there is underground is strangely colored, from the "lances of hazy violet" coming through the holes in the manhole cover, to the light from the man's matches, "glowing greenishly, turning red, orange, then yellow," to the "red darkness" of the furnace room, and to the "yellow stems" from another manhole that reveal the floating baby. These odd colors heighten the nightmarish quality of life underground, but also highlight the fact that in thiS place the man is learning a new way to see.

After just a...

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This section contains 712 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Man Who Lived Underground Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
The Man Who Lived Underground from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.