Eight Men

Growing Up: Self-awareness and Adulthood College

As we grow up, our parents teach us life lessons to prepare us for adulthood. Depending on how we choose to approach these lessons, we may or may not understand how to attain a mature way of acting. In the story, “The Man Who Was Almost a Man” by Richard Wright, the narrator, Dave Saunders, had very little guidance on how to be an adult, and wanted nothing more than to be just that. Dave, wasn’t properly taught the essential information of how to be responsible or familiar with social norms. Dave Saunders’ parents were uneducated and led Dave to be the same way. Knowing the proper characteristics of how to be an adult, is an acquired knowledge. As a result of this, Dave shows the reader he is unaware of what separates a “boy” from a “man” and a “girl” from a “woman”. Dave grew up in a society that taught him to have a negative view towards one’s youth.

In Wright’s short story, the narrator and those surrounding him had a very negative view of youth. “One of these days he was going to get a gun and practice shooting, then they couldn’t talk to him as though he were a little boy” (Wright). This quote from the story, is an example of the way Dave felt. This pessimistic environment, led Dave to feel powerless and weak. With the...

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