Analysis of the Man Who Lived Underground

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Rebecca Jean African American Lit ENG 225 E1 Prof. Coleman II The Man Who Lived Underground is Richards Wright’s short story about a young black man, Fred Daniels, who is falsely accused of murder and is forced to move underground to avoid capture from the police. During his time in the sewer Fred starts to examine his assumptions of what guilt and innocence and comes to the realization that people are inherently guilty and are isolated from one another. While underground he encounters many things that help him come to those conclusions which include the black church, a dead baby, the funeral parlor and the movie house. During his time underground Daniels stole a radio and money for which he has no remorse for. A security guard is falsely accused of taking the money and as for the radio another young boy is accused of taking the radio and is beaten and the security guard kills himself. After being underground for a period of time Fred decides to leave his underground home upon hearing a broadcast from a radio station about war calamities and his goes to the police station where he gives a strange confession that make the police man question his sanity. He brings them to the man hole and as he descends into the hole the police offer shots him. His reason for doing this he says is because “You’ve got to shot his kind. They’d wreck things.” He was left dead in the sewer just like the dead baby. Richard Nathaniel Wright Sept. 4th 1908 on Rucker's Plantation in Mississippi, the son of Nathaniel Wright, an illiterate sharecropper, and Ella Wilson, a schoolteacher. When Wright was five, his father left the family and his mother was forced to take domestic jobs away from the house. Around 1920 Ella Wright became a paralytic, and the family moved from Natchez to Jackson, then to Elaine, Arkansas, and back to Jackson to live with Wright's maternal grandparents, who

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