The following essay will explain why the subtitle American Hunger of the book Black Boy by Richard Wright is appropriate. Richard, the main character in the book, had two different kinds of hunger. He had real hunger, and he had figurative hunger. Both of these characteristics had a big influence on his life in America.
Richard Wright was a young black male in the southern states of America, where there were still racial conflicts between blacks and whites in the mid 1920's. He lived in poverty and often did not have enough food to eat. His father left his family and he had to live with lots of different relatives. He tried to get many different jobs, but when his mother had a stroke and was slightly paralyzed, he lived with his Grandmother who wouldn't let his work on the weekends because of her religion. He went to many different places to find jobs including things like cleaning a white man's house and washing his dishes to selling newspapers, which he later found out were made in Chicago by the KKK. He tried all these jobs to get money to buy food and to help himself get through this struggle.
Besides being physically hungry, Wright was also figuratively hungry. Blacks were often told to be silent and were often beaten. Wright longed to be able to use his own words to express how he felt. He had very difficult experiences moving around with a lot of different relatives, and he grew bitter. The way he became better was by writing stories and expressing himself in his own words. As a result of his unhappiness and the social and economic conditions surrounding black people in America, Richard saved up his money and by the time he was old enough, he moved and stayed in the North, where he became a communist.
Richard Wright suffered at a time in American history when there was poverty and racism. He was often hungry for food, as well as for a chance to speak and write and influence others with his word.