Appearances in "Big Black Good Man" Analytical Essay by Nicky

Appearances in "Big Black Good Man"
An analysis of the message of appearances in Richard Wright's short story, "Big Black Good Man".
# 145010 | 1,214 words | 6 sources | MLA | 2010 | US
Published on Oct 22, 2010 in Literature (American) , African-American Studies (Racism) , Sociology (General)


$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now

Description:

The paper describes how Olaf, a white man, allows his racist beliefs and prejudice to influence what he thinks about Jim, a big, intimidating black. The paper points out how Olaf seems to be a meek white man who would never hurt anyone, but he harbors such passionate hate towards someone else, while Jim looks scary, but is a good, kind man. The paper highlights Wright's message that a man's character cannot be determined by his appearance alone.

From the Paper:

"Olaf is the quintessential racist white man, fearing a black man that happens to be larger and stronger than he is. Margaret Marshall observes that Wright's stories lay bare the "lower depths of the human relationships between the blacks and the whites" (Marshall 417). Olaf illustrates this when we read that he was tempted to "refuse a man a room solely on the basis of the man's size and color" (Wright 263). It is important to note that Olaf is completely aware of his feelings and why but he does not feel compelled to do anything about them. He gives Jim a room but is not happy about it; when he discovers that Jim is a wealthy black man, we see even more resentment. We read, "Resentment clogged his pores of his wrinkled white skin" (Wright 264). In addition, without provocation, Olaf cannot "shake off a primitive hate for that black mountain if energy" (266). Olaf lives a life filled with hatred because he is prejudiced but he does not think that he is. In fact, he denies the thought only to follow it by stating that God should not make men that are so big and so black. Olaf is like every other individual that does not think there is anything wrong with him or her. It is easy to find fault in others and even easier to justify our own silly behavior. However, Olaf has the bigger problem of the two men because his trouble lives in his own heart."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Alsen, Bernhard. "Richard Wright." African American Authors. The African American Experience Resource Database. Information Retrieved December 03, 2008. <http://aae.greenwood.com>
  • Ellison, Ralph. Modern American Literature. Vol. III. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co. 1969.
  • Marshall, Margaret. Modern American Literature. Vol. III. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co. 1969.
  • Spiller, Robert. Literary History of the United States. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc. 1974.
  • Norvell, Candyce. "Critical Essay on 'Big Black Good Man." Short Stories for Students. 2005. Gale Resource Database. Information Retrieved December 03, 2008.<http://www.infotrac.galegroup.com>

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Appearances in "Big Black Good Man" (2010, October 22) Retrieved April 21, 2019, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/appearances-in-big-black-good-man-145010/

MLA Format

"Appearances in "Big Black Good Man"" 22 October 2010. Web. 21 April. 2019. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/appearances-in-big-black-good-man-145010/>

Comments