For the most part, Wright's narrative technique and general style are relatively traditional. He does not depict events in a surreal fashion, nor does he employ stream-of-consciousness or meta-fictional elements, in this story or in his well-known novels such as Native Son and The Outsider. If modernist tendencies are to be found in his work, they lie more in the message he puts forth than in the manner in which that message is delivered.
The protagonist Dave in "The Man Who Was Almost a Man" represents man alone in an essentially hostile milieu. He feels displaced and is looked down upon by his parents and cut off from real communion with others. The gun he buys, he feels, will endow him with a maturity and even a kind of authority not only lacking from his current place in the world, but one he suspects he will never have on his own if his life continues as it has been.
It is perhaps a slight stretch to see Dave as analogous to Meursault in Camus's The Stranger, but the comparison is not...
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