Almos A Man

1002 Words5 Pages
In Richard Wright’s short story Almos’ A Man, he expresses the idea that becoming a man is not a physical change but an emotional one that involves taking responsibility for mistakes and accepting those consequences. Wright starts by introducing Dave as a young seventeen-year-old boy that thinks he is old enough to own a gun. Dave thinks he needs a gun to prove he is a man so that the other workers will stop treating him like a child. In this excerpt, “But Ma, we needa gun. Pa ain got no gun. We needa gun in the house. Yuh kin never tell whut might happen. Ah wans a gun Ma. Yuh kin lemma have two dollars outa mah money. Please, Ma. I kin give it to Pa…Please, Ma! Ah loves yuh, Ma” Dave shows very childlike behavior, begging his mother to give him the money. He also tries to trick her by saying that the gun is for his father. Technically Dave never gets permission to own the gun, so it never actually belonged to him. This behavior shows that Dave is not yet ready to own a gun and still has a ways to go before he becomes a man. When Dave lies to his mother about where the gun is hidden, it just proves further that he is acting like a child and not able to take responsibility for his actions. Dave gets out to the field early the morning after he has bought the gun so no one else is around and he starts plowing far away by the woods. He starts bragging to Jenny (the mule) about the gun. “’Know whut this is, Jenny? Naw, yuh wouldn’t know! Yuhs jusa ol mule! Anyhow, this is a gun, n it kin shoot, by Gawd!’ He held the gun at arm’s length. Whut t hell, Ahma shoot this thing! He looked at Jenny again. ‘Lissen here, Jenny! When ah pull this ol trigger ah don wan yuh run n acka fool now.’ Jenny stood with head down, her short ears pricked straight. Dave walked off about twenty feet, held the gun far out from him, at arm’s length, and turned his head. Hell, he told himself,

More about Almos A Man

Open Document