"The Man Who Was Almost a Man,"" (1940) is a short story written by Richard Wright which tells about a young African-American boy Dave's entrance to the manhood. The story deals with how a young black boy defines power with the wrong impressions given by society and how he use this power to escape from his fears and do the the things which society, at least, his people can not do. Jenny is the more than a mule in story, rather than a animal it symbolizes black society, Dave's family, boss and even himself.
In a nutshell, story tells about Dave who works in field just like his parents do for years. Dave is a young boy who thinks gun is the ultimate measure of power, manliness in the society. This notion of him makes him desire to buy a gun from Joe with money he gained in the fields. When he get the gun, he feels as if he is the master of the town and he gained the whole power in his hands. In the early morning after he get the gun, he runs over to the forest with the mule Jenny who belongs to the old man Hawkins, his boss. When they reaches the woods, he fired the gun with closed eyes which end up killing the mule. After that, the boss decided to make him work for fdsadsa for paying for the dead mule which he can not accept and runs away from town.
Wright uses Jenny to symbolize the African-American people. Mules are known to be cooperating and calm animals which can be used in the fields easily without having difficulty no matter how the work hard is. It is obvious that people around Dave who work for the boss are mostly poor-fellows who never stand against their boss and do not resist to his orders just like boss' mule Jenny. The best example for this situation is that when Dave shot the mule, Hawkins wants fifty dollars for it and his family accept the price without saying anything unlike Dave who can not accept and run away afterwards.