Shadow and Act - Study Guide Part 1, The Seer and the Seen, Section 5 Summary & Analysis

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"Richard Wright's Blues" (published 1945). The essay begins with a direct statement of what, in the author's opinion, Negro writer Richard Wright is struggling to achieve in his writing in general and in his autobiography, Black Boy in particular (see "Quotes", p. 77). He then goes on to compare Wright's writing to that of other writers (Nehru, Joyce, Dostoyevski), and suggests that like theirs, Wright's writing and perspective on his life is colored by a unique, socio-cultural context, defined and illuminated in Wright's case by an equally unique Negro art form - the blues (see "Objects/Places - The Blues"). The author then examines in depth Wright's childhood and youth - in particular, the violence (emotional, cultural and spiritual) he experienced as a black boy growing up in the...

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