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Richard Wright, Big Black Good Man

             Richard Wright's story "Big Black Good Man" was written in a time when racial prejudice was a major factor in society. Today we still have racial prejudice, but it is not seen as often as it was back then. The point in which Richard Wright wanted to get across by this story is that you should "never judge a book by its cover." Many times he uses Olaf and Lena in this story to show the differences in views they have about prejudice.
             Richard Wright uses Olaf in this story to show how some white men without knowledge of being prejudiced could be in a way. The story takes place in a motel where Olaf Jenson is the clerk. He's there minding his own business when Jim (the big black good man) walks in and he's faced with all of these feelings that he's never had before. Olaf doesn't seem to think that he is prejudiced in any way or form except the size of Jim set him off, and he was afraid. Fear is a great factor in this story when it comes to prejudice in Olaf's case. The size of Jim was terrifying to him because he didn't know what Jim might do to him (208).
             Jim is the antagonist in this story because Olaf is the narrator. If we look at Jim's character and his point of view we could probably see that he was prejudiced in his own way as well. He walks in sure of himself and of what he wants and demands it from Olaf. Olaf being white could have made him feel threatened in a way because Jim was looking for a room to stay in could have been refused. Back then in society people were known to refuse colored folk and the story does state that Olaf thought about refusing him (208). Olaf, though knowing he was having irrational thoughts, went ahead and offered Jim a room.
             Richard Wright displays Lena's character to be one of not prejudiced. She's there to help teach Olaf a lesson in the story. She is called in thist story because JIm has asked for a bottle of whiskey and a woman (209).

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