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A Deeper Meaning

            The words of a great scholar read, "There is a period near the beginning of every man's life when he has little to cling to except his unmanageable dream, little to support him except good health, and nowhere to go but all over the place." (White). One of the most sought after attributes that constitute being a man is respect and without it, one may experience a feeling of being lees than human. In the enlightening short story "The Man Who Was Almost A Man", the author, Richard Wright, renders the role of protagonist to a seventeen-year-old black boy named Dave. This aforementioned character grew up during the late 1800's in a time when black men were treated inferior to their just as equal counterparts and the only thing that was keeping him being considered and respected as a man was the lack of possessing a gun. With this, one can come to the conclusion that becoming a man may be seen as a right-of-passage for those who believe that this status can be achieved through material possessions that esoterically render pride, strength and endless, unforeseen ambition.
             Pride is a feeling that is housed within man's heart and soul and may be thought of as having the most value when it comes to maintaining self-esteem. Dave, in this case, feels that having the gun increased his level of pride when the author says, "the first movement he made the following morning was to reach under his pillow for the gun. In the gray light of dawn he held it loosely, feeling a sense of power." (278). This may show that with this newly found power, Dave may now feel that his days of being run over and stepped on will finally come to an end. The people who were once above him on the hierarchical ladder were now on the same platform as him and were looked at as if they were no different. Subsequently, when man's level of pride undergoes a sudden boost, he cannot help but to also increase is level of inner strength due to the fact that they are interrelated.

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