Black Boy: A Record of Childhood and Youth

by Richard Wright

Start Free Trial

I can only find one example of foreshadowing with the kitten in Black Boy by Richard Wright and I need three examples. Since I don't have the excerpts anymore, can you help me with two more examples so I can finish my essay? Thanks!

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

1. the kitten

In the autobiographical Black Boy by Richard Wright, as a boy Richard is rather defiant and he also acts on his own without considering the consequences. He unwisely kills an innocent kitten in defiance of his father because his father told him to kill it, not meaning what he said. But, Richard kills it and dares his father to contradict his own orders.This defiance of Richard continues throughout his life.

2. displacement and uncertainty

In Chapter 3, Richard's mother becomes sick with paralysis and other ailments. Because she cannot fend for herself, relatives come and live with them, or Richard's family moves. Wright writes,

My mother's suffering my mind, gathering to itself all the poverty, the ignorance, the helplessness; the painful baffling, hunger-ridden days and hours; the restless moving; the futile seeking, the uncertainty.... 

These afflictions of his mother lead to Richard's struggle to wring meaning out of a meaningless struggle as he is moved from place to place and struggles. He also finds himself shifted from some relatives to others.

3. the exploitation of himself

Richard hangs out with boys rather than go home for a meal. He sells newspapers, but later learns that they are racist and he has been exploited as he sells them. This act foreshadows the occasions that he is exploited himself.

Later on in the narrative, Richard writes for the Communist Party and his works are not used in the manner he has expected them to be.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team