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English Final Project Essay Research Paper Final

English Final Project Essay, Research Paper

Final Book Report III

Toni Morrison?s, The Bluest Eye, Alice Walker?s , The Color Purple , and

Richard Wright?s autobiography , Black Boy , all represent prejudicy . The preceding

novels show the characters were typical victims, not understading the division of power

amongst races. The Bluest Eye , a heart breaking story of a little back girl living in Lorain,

Ohio during the 1930?s, manifest the longing of Pecola Breedlove?s obsession for love. In

order to achieve love she would have to deny herself of her true identity and surrender to

what is thought to be beautiful and superior: little white girls ?gifted? with blond hair and

blue eyes. The novel procalaims the nation?s love for little white girls. Sadly, Pecola

wishes every night to abolish her ugliness: her blackness. If she could only become

?beautiful? she would be loved , rather then become the subject of hatred ranging fom

people like her mother tro her teachers to her classmates. Recounting the story of a black

girl?s hardship?s in the world of prejudice, Alice Walker?s , The Color Purple presents a

moving story of love, ill-treatment, and growth. Celie, the main character, advances

toward inner growth changing from a abused and submissive wife to an independent and

confident black women. The story is written in Celie?s journal addressed to God. This is

because the only person she thinks she can trust is God I with her secrets. From Celie?s

journal the reader finds out about other characters in the novel such as Alfonso,

Mr._____, Shug, Nettie, and Harpo. The theme of the novel is straightforward and simple.

Like many of the other novels devoted to the mistreatment of blacks and black women

especially. Much of the novel reflect points in the authors life. The novel is derived from

Alice Walker?s own personal experience, growing up in the rural south as an abused and

uneducated child. Black Boy is an autobiography about Richard Wright. He was born in

the rural Mississippi, the grandson of slaves. Richard Wright overcame every social

obstacle including poverty, racism and limited education to achieve the regonition as the

creator of America?s most powerful literature.

Black Boy, Richard Wright’s autobiography, covers his childhood and

early adulthood. It opens with four-year-old Richard’s rebellion against authority. In order

to occupy his time Richard accidently burns down his grandfathers house. ?My idea was

growing. Now I was wondering how the long fluffy curatians would look if I held the

burning straws under them( pg 11).? All throughout the entire novel Richard has some

type of hunger. His hunger gets him into trouble. At the time, Richard was and resentful

of his mother’s command of silence. After his mother determined that he was unharmed,

she beat him so badly that he lost consciousness. When Richard and his brother were very

young, Nathan Wright, their father, a sharecropper , abandoned the family, plunging them

into poverty. Richard’s constant hunger made him extremely bitter toward his father. Over

the next few years, Ella, Richard’s mother, would desperately attempt to feed, clothe, and

shelter her children. Her long hours of work often meant leaving her children with little

supervision. When Richard was six years old, he began begging drinks in a nearby saloon

where the customers plied him with nickels if he would repeat various curse words and

offensive phrases. When beatings didn?t work helpfully with his growing obsession with

alcohol, Ella engaged the babysitting services of an older black woman in the

neighborhood who watched every move. Ella moved in with her sister, Maggie, and

Maggie’s husband, Silas Hoskins. Hoskins was the owner of a successful saloon, so there

was always more than enough food to eat. Nevertheless, Richard was unable to

lose the fear that his hunger would return anew, so he hoarded food all over

the house. Unfortunately, the newly found stableness was not destined to last. The

local whites were jealous of Hoskins’s profitable business, so they murdered

him and threatened to kill the rest of his family. Maggie and Ella fled with the

two boys to live in another town. Maggie and Ella’s combined wages proved

adequate to feed and clothe Richard and his brother, but Maggie became

involved with “Professor” Matthews, a wanted man. Matthews, being a wanted man gave

the children valued things and a puppy.Shortly after Richard desired to sell the dog for

money to sooth his hunger. The lady only having 97 cents was denied new ownership of

the puppy. A week later the dog was run over and killed. Ella and the children fled

to the North after Mathews killed a white woman; Ella once again had to work alone to

provide for herself and her children. Ella’s health began to deteriorate. Because she didn?t

have money for rent she and her sons were forced to move several times. A paralytic

stroke disabled her, so Richard was forced to write to his grandmother for help. Ella’s

siblings gave hat help they could, but none of them could take on the responsibility for

both of her children. Richard’s grandmother took on the responsibility for

caring for Ella. Maggie took Richard’s younger brother to raise in Detroit, while Richard

chose to live with his Uncle Clark, who lived close to Richard’s grandmother. However,

Richard ultimately could not get along with Clark and his wife Jody, so he returned to

Jackson to live with his mother in his grandparents’ home.

Richard’s grandmother was a strict Seventh Day Adventist, but Richard

was an atheist from an early age. He also had a yearning to be a writer, a

profession that his grandmother distrusted as “wrldly.” His relationship with

his grandmother was therefore a never-ending battle. His Aunt Addie

eventually joined the crusade to save his soul, and Richard was enrolled in the

religious school where she taught. One day, she beat Richard in class for an

offense that he did not commit. He was accused of eating in school. She tried to beat him

again after school, but Richard fought her off with a knife. In the following years, Richard

would have to defend himself against the violence of various members of his family.

Despite his random schooling, Richard managed to graduate from the

ninth grade. He tried to work to save money in order to move to the North, but he found

himself unable to assume the role of humble inferior to his white employers and

co-workers. During this time, he suffered numerous frightening, often violent

confrontations with white racism. He moved to Memphis where the atmosphere was less

dangerous. He insulted the attempts of his kindly landlady, Mrs. Moss, to marry him to her

daughter, Bess. Meanwhile, he began saving for his escape to the North. His mother,

brother, and Aunt Maggie joined him in Memphis, and later moved

with him to Chicago.

Chicago urged new desires and dreams in Richard, but he was still too afraid to fully

acknowledge them. Mired in the sadness and chaos of the great depression, Richard

found an ideology that appealed to him in Communism. He felt that he could aid the

Communists in spreading their message via his writing, but to his horror and dismay, he

soon discovered that petty rivalries and paranoia ran deep among his peers. He found

himself he object of suspicion and distrust because he was branded an “intellectual.”

After a series of political battles and a great deal of persecution, Richard became like an

alien from the Party. He was ousted by several Communist when he tried to march in a

May Day parade, but he did not let this rejection defeat him. Instead, he resolved to find

his own forms of expression and self-realization through his writing.

One of the factors that influenced the novels was the setting. The

Color Purple takes place in the south during the early 1900?s. It is not usual that

predjudicy against women and blacks took place. The Bluest Eye also takes place during

the early 1900?s in Lorain , Ohio. Similar to the Color Purple black boy takes place in the

south; arond the 1930?s in Mississipi. This time in civilization is ideal for predjudicy. This

was the time during the civil war. Black were not slave but they were still treated with

little respect. Racist whites were extremely hostile to black literacy, and even more so to

black Americans who wanted to make writing a carreer. During these times blacks were

highly mistreated. Without the setting it would be doubtful for the plot in the novel to take


All of the novels portray prejudicy toward the characters. The theme of the

Color purple is straightforward and simple. Like many other novels devoted to the

mistreatment of blacks and black women espescially, The color purple is dedicated to black

womens’ rights. Much of the narrative in Walker’s novel is derived from her own experience,

growing up in the rural south as an abused and uneducated child. Richard seems to be a mere

reflection to Alice Walker, in his autobiography, Black Boy. Similarly to Richard and Alice

Walker, Pecola is a little black girl who is also abused. Pecola’s dreams represented the all

American dream. In Pecola’s eyes hiteness represents beauty, middle-class affluence,

popularity, and happiness. Throughout the novel, lines from Dick and Jane preface several

chapters. The perfect white world of the reading contrasts sharply with the poverty and

suffering of the black characters in the novel. A pattern of rebellion and punishment last all

throughout Black Boy. After searching and searching Richard refused to give up his

individuality to prove his loyalty to himself and others. He decide, as he always had, to go his

own way.

The characters in The Bluest Eye, Black Boy, and The Color Purple are

victims of social obstacles such as being the vistims of racism, poverty and poor education.

The characters deal with their obstacles differently. Pecola hides away wishing everyday to

terminate her blackness. Soon later, due to herself and people around, she goes mad thinking

she is actually gifted with blue eyes more beautiful than anyone elses. Celia stays a

submissive wife until Shug comes along to boost her self-esteem to where it has never gone

before. At first Richard , in Black Boy, does not understand any of his obstacles. Therefore

that was his hunger to go searching for more knowledge.