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Analysis of Richard Wright's The Man Who Lived Underground - Book Report/Review Example

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"Analysis of Richard Wright's The Man Who Lived Underground" paper focuses on the book, the author of which makes a statement on the poor treatment of African Americans by symbolically addressing the fact that many African Americans have been forced to the underground of society by racism…
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Analysis of Richard Wrights The Man Who Lived Underground
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Download file to see previous pages The protagonist of this story, Fred Daniels, is accused of a murder that he did not commit and, therefore, is forced to inhabit the underworld, where he does not want to live. This is highly symbolic of how African Americans have been treated in society throughout history, as they have been forced out of the conscience of the country as a whole and pushed into ghettos where their stereotypes continue to evolve. Daniels is the personification of Wright’s ideas on American society and its attitudes towards American Americans in general. The fact that he is forced to run underground because of the charges against him shows that he does not believe that he will be given a fair trial. He knows that his only chance for survival is to escape the society that wishes to see him harmed and to escape to the underground because of the lack of prejudice that he will encounter there, since “the alienation of Fred Daniels was specifically rooted in the discovery that the values of the society in which he had lived--being a faithful servant, a devoted father, a respectful citizen, an observing Christian, believing in the work ethic, in thrift, respect for the law--were meaningless. Given his color and his class, the secular law could strike him at any time. Fred Daniels therefore rejected the society that had arbitrarily accused him of murder. After renouncing its values as arbitrary, he discovered that arbitrary values continue to control the destiny of human beings” (Cappetti 10).

An important symbol that is found in this text occurs when the white police officers stand over Daniels while his head is in the sewer.  This is how society has treated African Americans, as they are forced to go through humiliating and dangerous circumstances on a regular basis, while white society simply stand over them and judges. This symbol shows that Daniels is depicted as being lower than the white officers, which is exactly how African Americans were treated at this time. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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