Black Boy Chapter 4


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Black Boy Chapter 4

  1. 1. Black Boy Chapter 4
  2. 2. <ul><li>Richard again faces hunger when he moves back to Jackson. </li></ul><ul><li>His main meals are flour and lard mush for breakfast, followed by a plate of greens cooked in lard for dinner. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>He learns to temper his hunger, if only briefly, by drinking so much water that his stomach feels tight and full. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Aunt Addie joins Granny in the fight to save Richard’s soul, and tempers again flare. </li></ul><ul><li>Richard unwillingly enters the religious school where Addie teaches. </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>The tension between Richard and Addie escalates when she wrongly accuses Richard of eating walnuts in class. </li></ul><ul><li>The guilty student was actually the one sitting directly in front of Richard, but Richard does not want to rat on his classmate. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>While trying to defend himself, Richard accidentally calls her “Aunt Addie” rather than “Miss Wilson,” making her more furious. </li></ul><ul><li>Addie beats Richard in front of the class, and he becomes furious that the guilty student has not come forward. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Addie tells Richard that she is not yet through with him, but he resolves that she will not beat him again. </li></ul><ul><li>At home that evening, Richard tells Addie who the real culprit was, but she then decides to beat him again because he did not tell her this truth earlier in class. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>When she tries to do so, Richard grows frenzied and fends her off with a knife. </li></ul><ul><li>He successfully defends himself, but Granny, Grandpa, and Ella all take Addie’s side. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>They are more convinced than ever that something is seriously wrong with Richard. </li></ul><ul><li>He then recalls that the only time he ever saw Addie laugh at school was when he was injured in a game of pop-the-whip that Addie had suggested the children play. </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Religion attracts Richard emotionally, but on an intellectual level he is unable to believe in God. </li></ul><ul><li>Granny forces Richard to attend certain all-night prayer meetings, but the twelve-year-old Richard’s hormones make him more interested in the church elder’s wife than in the elder’s words. </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>A religious revival is coming through town, and Richard’s family kindly urges him to attend, deciding that this is their last chance to reform him. </li></ul><ul><li>Richard knows their true motives, however, and is unmoved. </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Granny recruits the neighborhood boys to try to convince Richard to go to God, but he knows she is behind it. </li></ul><ul><li>Richard is unable to explain to his peers his inability to believe in God. </li></ul><ul><li>He has faith in the “common realities of life,” not in any concept of cosmic order. </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>During a sermon one day at church, Richard whispers to Granny that he would believe in God if he saw an angel. </li></ul><ul><li>Granny hears him incorrectly and thinks that he has said that he has seen an angel. </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>She elatedly informs the church elder and the rest of the congregation. </li></ul><ul><li>Richard, already mortified at Granny’s misunderstanding, makes things worse by embarrassing her, correcting her error in front of everyone present at the church. </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>Granny is furious. </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>To appease Granny’s anger, Richard promises to pray every day, but he is unable to do so. </li></ul><ul><li>The act of prayer even makes him laugh. </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>To kill time during his daily prayer hour, he decides to write a story about an Indian maiden who drowns herself. </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>In his excitement to share the story with someone, Richard reads it aloud to the young woman who lives next door. </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>She seems astonished that anyone would write a story simply out of the desire to write, but Richard takes satisfaction from her puzzled bewilderment. </li></ul>