Richard Wright paints a picture through his autobiography the Black Boy, of a struggling life of a southern black boy against the un-justices that lay in every corner of American society. The subtitle of the book is American Hunger, which illustrates the transformation of Richard Wright, from a poor southern black boy who is constantly struck by physical hunger, to an educated black man who has unlimited desire for knowledge. What I think is the most important factor that sets him apart from all the others, is his nature of rebellion.
In the first chapter of the book, the six-year-old little Richard slain a kitten tries to challenge his father's authority. The courage and the intellectual logical thinking he possesses as a six-years-old is more impressive than the cruelty. It gives a little hint of what this boy is capable of doing, and his great potential. .
Rebellion is a bomb that lies within very human being. Geographical, cultural and ethical differences alone with many other factors may all contribute to the development of this character within each individual. It is very reasonable to say that what triggered Richard to be rebellious was his unpleasant childhood memory of his father. Men are the only source of income in the southern black families, without a father equals to poverty, poverty means no food. As a matter of fact, the pain of starvation was a very significant part of Richard's childhood. Psychologically, every time when Richard struck by hunger, he associates the pain with the image of his irresponsible father, unconsciously. It forged an unconscious reaction in Richard's mind that he would always be reasoning and rebelling against anything that's unjustified. .
Although when Richard was younger, he did not know exactly what he was fighting for, or why he was a social outcast, but Richard never bowed his head under pressure. In every single step of Richard's life, there were always challenges waiting for him.