Black Boy

Opposites Don't Attract: Granny in "Black Boy" 9th Grade

Isaac Newton, a prominent English physicist and mathematician, devised his 3rd law of motion: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. In the autobiography Black Boy by Richard Wright, a key influence in Richard's life is his grandmother, referred to as Granny throughout the book, who incessantly tries to make Richard embrace God; her attempts, though, are futile with someone as recalcitrant as Richard. In human terms, Granny and Richard's interactions substantiate Newton's 3rd law. When Granny tries to make Richard conform to her lifestyle, Richard retaliates and rebels just as vigorously.

Granny is fervently religious, her lifestyle metaphorically deemed a regime: a word which according to the Oxford Dictionary designates "a government, especially an authoritarian one”. While Granny is not the only family member to try to influence Richard, she is notable because she does so ceaselessly and formidably. Even though Richard's mother is religious, she pales in comparison to Granny, who might be considered a religious fanatic. The first example of Granny's imposition of religion onto her family members is when Richard's mother “announced that we were going to to move, that we were going back to West Helena. She...

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