Symbols in the Man Research Paper

Pages: 5 (1822 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Literature

He is unable to really embody the sense of responsibility and masculinity he sees the gun as representing (Spack 104). How he handles himself with the gun is a clear indication that he still does not embody the masculinity he so wishes for. So thus, for the audience, the gun becomes a symbol of Dave's immaturity and inability to understand his own faults in order to rectify them in a more realistic attempt to reach an independent adult state. His continuing lies about the location of the gun solidifies that he will be unable to develop as a character, and is thus stuck in his adolescent state, therefore being the man, who was almost a man.

Overall, it is clear that Wright is using symbolism within his short story "The Man Who Was Almost a Man" to convey the notion that the main character, Dave, has not developed into the man he hopes to be. Rather than finding respect and maturity behind the barrel of a gun, he only finds a failed attempt at growth. Wright uses the symbolism of the fields, the mule, and the gun to show how Dave has stagnated and become a static character, without the hope of progressing towards a more mature sense of masculinity. As such, Dave is doomed to remain less than a man.

Works Cited

Brigano, Russel Carl. Richard Wright: An Introduction to the Man and His Works. University of Pittsburgh Pre. 1970.

Kumar, Shiv K. & McKean, Keith. Critical Approaches to Fiction. Atlantic Publishers. 2003.

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Spack, Ruth. The International Story: An Anthology with Guidelines for Reading and Writing about Fiction. Cambridge University Press. 2010.

Werlock, James P. The Facts on File Companion to the American Short Story. Infobase Publishing. 2010.

Research Paper on Symbols in the Man Who Assignment

Wright, Richard. "The Man Who Was Almost a Man." The Pearson Custom Library: Introduction to… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Symbols in the Man" Research Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Symbols in the Man.  (2012, May 22).  Retrieved January 19, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Symbols in the Man."  22 May 2012.  Web.  19 January 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Symbols in the Man."  May 22, 2012.  Accessed January 19, 2021.