From one of the themes of Black Boy, explain how the conflict and figurative language help to support that theme.the theme I choose is the evil effect of racism

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the narration of his life, Black Boy, Richard Wright never learns how to be "black" as the Jim Crow South and even the Communist Party wish him to be.  Stymied in the expression of his soul and his ceaseless quest for explanation, racism effects his conscious alienation.  For, just as Wright pretends that he is not physically hungry when he really is because the eating of a little food simply reminds him of his shameful hunger, he remains aloof and maintains his interest in the world from afar as he knows that Jim Crow, and later the Communist Party, prohibit his real expression. 

This metaphor of hunger runs concurrently with the theme and the conflicts between prejudice and tolerance throughout Wright's novel.  For instance, Wright's hunger for knowledge drives him to the use of Mr. Falk's library card; he forges a note in which he calls himself a "nigger" and feigns illiterarcy so that he can obtain books to read in his hunger for knowledge.  Yet, while Wright can satiate his intellectual hunger, he is never able to satisfy the hunger in his soul for existential meaning because the evils of his Jim Crow or Communist society prohibit him.

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