The Man Who Was Almost A Man | Analytical essay | 12 i karakter

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- Feedback. Assignment 1: The Man Who Was Almost a Man

The short story “The Man Who Was Almost A Man” (1961) by Richard Wright tells the story of a young boy named Dave. He visits Joe’s store where he’s offered an affordable gun.

Dave gets his mother’s permission to buy the gun. Without thinking twice, he chooses to stay out for the night instead of returning home with the gun. The following morning, he feels tempted to fire the gun.

Unfortunately, Hawkins is already at work and asks Dave to plow the field with Jenny the mule. When Dave is out of hearing range, he fires the gun and accidentally hits Jenny.

Dave tries to cover up his wrongdoing, but Hawkins doesn’t buy it, and he must therefore pay up. On the same night - annoyed by Hawkins’ (Hvis genetiv slutter på “s” skal apostroffen sættes bag “s”.

demands - he decides to dig up the gun. He fires it once again and jumps on a train and leaves home for good.


When does (3 personsental, skal der altid “s” på) one become a grownup? The evolution from childhood to manhood has many stages.

We don’t all go through the same ones, nor do we all struggle in the same ways with adulting. Some of us have a hard time evolving from an immature to a mature character .

This also seems to be the case for the 17-year-old Dave, the main character in Richard Wright’s short story, ”The Man Who Was Almost A Man,” from 1961. The story narrates Dave’s difficulties with trying to become a dynamic character.

In Wright´s story, Dave is a static and round character with flat character traits Furthermore, he´s from the subclass which the story´s dialog clearly indicates.

His family uses a great amount of slang and African American accent, which results in a lower stylistic level and a more colloquial language. “

Ah didn’t know Ah wuz gitting up so early, Mistah Hawkins. Ah wuz fixin t hitch up ol Jenny n take her t the fiels.” . In this example he uses “n” instead of “and” which implies his afore-mentioned slang and informal language.

The intriguing part of the story is the difference between how Dave characterizes himself and how the reader characterizes him. Dave sees himself as a dy-namic character.

Even though Dave feels like a minority compared to the surrounding environmen-tal characters, he sees himself as a man once he´s in charge of the gun; “And if he were holding his gun, nobody could run over him.

They would have to respect him.” It hereby becomes clear that Dave sees himself as a dynamic character as he thinks, he matures. Later in the story, the reader is introduced to multiple examples showing that Dave is a static character;

“What happened Dave? Whut yuh done?” “Nothing” “C mon, boy, talk” his father said. Dave took a deep breath and told the story he knew nobody believed.” This example clarifies that Dave is a static and immature char-acter as he tries to cover up the truth.

However, Dave sees himself as mature and a dynamic char-acter. “Lawd, ef Ah had jus one mo bullet Ah’d taka shot at the house. Ah’d like t scare ol man Hawkins jusa little…”

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