Type: Literary Analysis
Pages: 4 | Words: 1072
Reading Time: 5 Minutes

In Uncle Tom’s Children, Richard Wright focuses on the problem, which has been typical for the American society since the times when it was written or, it would be correct to say, since the much more distant times. The issue of racial discrimination has been extremely important and topical for the American society for many years. A lot has changed, many laws have been adopted, numerous amendments passed, and lots of convincing speeches have been given. Despite all changes and progression, the problem has remained the same. Maybe it is not as explicit and, obvious as it used to be earlier, but it has become even worth in some way. It is worse since many of those, who have tried to address this issue, passed away. Nowadays, the popular idea of so-called tolerance makes people blind to the problem of discrimination and everlasting struggle of a black person. Uncle Tom’s Children by Wright is a composition of short stories, the main characters of which are average black individuals.

The book consists of five short stories. When the first edition of the book was issued, it had only four stories; however, two years later it was reissued. The author shares his own experience and pain with the reader as he was the man, who knew exactly what racism was. He was a man, who being a boy was not allowed to take part in games with other children. He was a man, who being a teenager was made fun of and neglected at work. He experienced all grieves of racial discrimination, yet he did not nurse wrath or aggression against the white people. He did not cherish the feeling of resentment in his heart. He was ready to forgive. He actually forgave. All he wished was to educate the reader, to teach him to live peacefully with all the people around, regardless of the color of their skin. The characters of the stories are strong and mentally attractive people, individuals with a strong spirit and will, people, who do care about their principles and their beliefs. This essay goes through a few of them.

Big Boy Leaves Home

This short story is the first one in the book with the exception of the foreword by the author. This short story obviously demonstrates the helplessness of a black boy in the world of the white people. It tells the story of four young men, who are caught by white people, who shoot two of them dead. The remaining two try to struggle; in the final score, the main character of the story, Big Boy, manages to kill one of the whites with his own weapon. The other whites run away cowardly. Now, the black boys have no other choice than to hide, and they leave in different directions. Big Boy realizes that he has the only option to run away to some distant place and lay low, and he plans to do so. Meanwhile, he gets to know that his other fellow was caught. Even despite the news, bitter feelings and strong desire to interfere, Big Boy with cruel certainty understands that there is no way he can help. He cannot stand up for his friend. His best choice is trying to hide and save his own life. Even though he and his friend were only defending themselves in the hopeless situation and basically committed no crime, the folks of the village were not likely to listen to any excuses of the black people. They have no rights, only because of the color of their skin. In addition, they have nothing to oppose to this cruel certainty.

Down by the Riverside

The mood of the next short story in the book is slightly different. The main character of the story appears to be in a horribly bad situation. There is a flood; he needs to rescue his family and bring them to the mountains. His wife is about to deliver a baby, and she needs to be taken to the hospital; meanwhile, the family is very poor and has no boat. The brother of the main character steals the boat from one of the people in the city and brings it home. Despite the risk, the main character still takes the boat and struggles with the destiny. He makes attempts, he has no belief, but he has nothing to lose, and he tries more and more. Despite all his struggles and efforts, the man is shot dead in the final score. His destiny finds him, but at least he did everything he could.

Bright and Morning Star

The last story of the book, named Bright and Morning Star draws a new picture. A black woman struggles hard for her principles and beliefs. In addition, despite the fact that she loses everything she has, including her children, she does everything to defend her ideas and does it despite horrible pain of a mother, whose son was killed in tortures before her very eyes. This woman gives the reader an understanding of a very important thing – if one wants to stand up for his principles, one should forget about himself, about all little pains and losses, stand up and fight hard for what one preaches. Even a black woman, whose rights are not cared for by anyone around, can make a difference if she tries.

It is obvious that, in the beginning of his book, Richard Wright shows the reader a picture of total hopelessness, which every black man had to face. The characters of the first story can dream of nothing but saving their own lives; this is the most they can expect. In the other stories, however, the characters of Wright start fighting back. They fight hopelessly, but they try to do their best to change at least something. In the last story, the black woman manages to make a difference with her unbelievable efforts. Even though, she loses everything and dies, her last thought is that despite she is almost dead, she has completed her mission in this world. She has tried and changed something. The author manages to reveal the horrible picture of racism in the society to those, who believe it to be non-existing. In addition, the author manages to prove to the black people that it is important to stand up for the rights even in an absolutely hopeless situation. If one tries hard, one will achieve some results; if everybody tries, the results will be amazing.

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