Black Boy Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Black Boy

Richard Wright was born black and poor in the Deep South of Roxie, Mississippi in 1908. His father was an illiterate sharecropper and his mother was a schoolteacher. The family was so poor that they often had to move in order to get help from family members. Richard was always hungry and hated the injustice of the way black people were treated in the south. His bitterness and adolescent angst led him to start drinking by the age of ten.
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When Richard was old enough, he moved to Chicago. He was in awe of the way black and white people lived amongst one another in relative harmony. Wright joined the Communist party in the 1930's and was quite active in the movement for almost a decade. He liked the party's focus on equality for everyone and abolishing the very rich and the very poor.

While Richard Wright is most famous for his novel, Native Son, his autobiography is an uncensored glimpse into the life of a black man in the early twentieth century Deep South.
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Chapter Analysis of Black Boy

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Plot & Themes

Political/social rights fight    -   Yes Plotlet:    -   minorities fighting for rights Ethnic/Relig. of subject (inside)    -   Black Gender/Class story?    -   story of lower class Ethnic/regional/gender    -   Yes Period of greatest activity?    -   1900+

Subject of Biography

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   writer Ethnicity    -   Black Nationality    -   American


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   8 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Deep South City?    -   Yes City:    -   Chicago Century:    -   1900-1920's

Writing Style

Book makes you feel?    -   thoughtful    -   like laughing Graphic sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   descript. of female anat. (the big B's)    -   actual description of hetero sex    -   main character serviced by prostitute Pictures/Illustrations?    -   None How much dialogue in bio?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog How much of bio focuses on most famous period of life?    -   0-25% of book

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