Black Boy: A Record of Childhood and Youth Questions and Answers
by Richard Wright

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Explain the dual point of view in Black Boy.

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There is only one narrative point-of-view in Black Boy by Richard Wright; the novel is written from a first-person perspective from the point-of-view of the author and narrator, Richard Wright.

One way the novel could be considered to have two points-of-view would be to contrast the tone of young Richard and adult Richard. Young Richard understands things from a child's perspective; the book opens when he's four, and the memories he has are colored by his perception during that time period. For example, he might not recognize things that an adult would easily recognize—such as burning some straws from a broom could end up causing a larger conflagration. Adult Richard has the same understanding as any adult and is who he is because of those childhood experiences.

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The two points of view are those of the boy experiencing the situation as a boy and the view of the man looking back with the filter of time and maturity. For example, he says that when his mother told him “catch a kungry” she was trying to make him laugh. But as a child he had thought she was teasing him, but she tried to make him forget about his hunger. His mother was just trying to help. And as an adult he had realized what the mother was trying to do the whole time. Another example of  the two different perspectives the use of diction. For example his mother had told him to defend himself and fight. As an adult he said “I was baffled”. And as a child the author would say to his mother “But I’m scared”.