Why He is Not a Man
In the story The Man Who Was Almost a Man by Richard Wright, there is a boy named Dave. Dave is a young boy trying to figure out what a man really is. Right now, he believes that a man is someone who owns a gun. Dave needs proper education about guns and needs the knowledge about what a man really is to be a man. Dave needs to be taught what a man really is because he is not a young man just because he has a gun.
Dave is a seventeen-year-old boy who wants a gun. He thinks he is almost a man. He thinks that having a gun will make him a man and give him power. Toughness is a common perception of masculinity. A man is not someone who owns a gun, but someone who has knowledge of behaving like a man and owning a gun like a man. He thinks that only a gun will make him a man instead of his actions dictating his matureness to others. He believes it will instill fear into others around him.
When one is a man, others treat him with respect. Daves parents talk down to him and treat him like a child, when he is trying to develop into a young respectable man. Daves mother says, Yuh ain nothing but a boy yit! in the story, proving that they look down on this seventeen-year-old boy. His mother tells him in the story to go wash his hands before he eats. If Dave was a man, then his mother should never have had to say that. In our society today, when a boy is seventeen years old, he is almost a man or considered a young man. In Daves society, he is treated like a young boy. If Daves parents saw his point of view on having a gun then they might want to look at why he wants it. At this time, they should tell him that a gun does not make a man. His mother does not think he should have a gun. In actuality, if Dave were a man, then he would have not wanted a gun to obtain power over others, but for pleasure.
In Daves actions, he is like a young boy. A man who owns a gun knows how to shoot a gun and knows the right and wrong time to use a gun, unlike Dave. After Dave gets the gun, he shoots it, thinking that makes him a man. If Dave were a man, then he would not have shot the mule. Then, after he shot the mule, Jenny, he would have told Mr. Hawkins that he shot the mule. In addition, when Dave shoots his gun, he closes his eyes and turns his head. A man would hold his head high and shoot the gun the proper way.
Throughout the story Dave proves that he is not a man, and that he does not know what a man is. Dave needs a man to teach him the real meaning of a man. I think at the end of the story when Dave gets on the train, he will learn what it really is to be a man. Dave needs to be taught what a man really is because he is not a young man just because he has a gun.