Richard Wright’s “The Library Card”
“The Library Card” was a powerful story that showed how reading can influence and affect its readers. While I was reading this story, I was forced to think about how horribly African Americans were treated and the struggles they had to face. To me, this means that it sparked his curiosity on the meaning of life, questions about fate, and even examining his own life. I believe Richard Wright was trying to make sense of the meaning of life and the purpose of his own way of living. I began to notice Wright was trying to find the reasoning for racial segregation and the judging of one’s character based on race, religion, and even his way of life. At the age of eighteen, Richard Wright was soon drawn to H. L. Mencken because of a newspaper headline which stated “Mencken is a fool.” To me, this symbolizes Wright’s urge for knowledge and his questioning behind racial segregation. I wondered, just as Wright did, what did Mencken do to cause the South to have such hatred toward not only to Richard, but the African American population as a whole. I believe that he was eager to gain knowledge and figure out an explanation on why the South’s racial tension was so present at this time. As Wright made the suggestion of borrowing a library card from the white men, I found him extremely bold and daring, considering all the racial solidarity toward Negroes in that time period. Not only that, but I was startled that someone who was my age was not allowed to borrow a book from a community library. I considered that reading was a way for Wright to escape the terrible world around him and go to a better place. I believe he wanted to escape to a place of knowledge and curiosity. As he described his thoughts and feelings about the book to Mr. Falk, I was ensured that he was establishing a sense of education in Wright’s life by making sure he gained insight about the material....
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