The Man Who Was Almost a Man Literary Analysis of Dave Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 17 February 2017

The Man Who Was Almost a Man Literary Analysis of Dave

Throughout the life of someone they can accomplish many tasks that aggrandize their reputation, but it only takes one discrepancy to leave harrowing effects that will degenerate their character within society. In “The Man Who Was Almost A Man” Dave and his family are a destitute bunch, and with some convoluted idea Dave’s life goes from bad to worse. He is a character in the story that is immature, which leads him further into his impetuous behavior that seeks power. His ignorance goads him to act upon his insecurities which turn malicious and bring out the true cowardice character in Dave.

Dave beleaguers his mother into giving him money to buy the gun. His first act of immaturity is when he shows a lack a responsibility as he ensconces his newly acquired possession underneath his pillow. He lacks any sense of integrity, and this slowly crescendos in the plot of the story as he later sneaks out away from his house to try and shoot the pistol. Once convicted guilty by Jim Hawkins, the owner of Jenny, and his parents for killing the mule the attribute of dependability was detracted in the eyes of his mother. He is deprived of emotional control as the anti-hero of the story.

His single one-tracked mind determined in obtaining the gun obscured his emotions between what is right and what is wrong. This depravity imparted on him begins to relinquish acceptance of not only others, but himself. Living in content is not a philosophy Dave follows, he isn’t accepting of his own life and even others. In introducing Dave’s character he is already being hateful and believes, “Them niggers can’t understan nothing. ” (Wright 1) His immaturity flourishes as the story commences and his insecurities build at the beginning.

He feels the need to be superior and “sit in the high throne” by looking down upon others. He seeks power which strays him away, and the thought of this makes him believe that he can fill the “high throne. ” This search power is a key role that accompanies the immaturity in the story which is bestowed onto Dave by Richard Wright. In the morning succeeding the purchase of the gun, “The first movement he made… was to reach under his pillow for the gun. In the gray light of dawn he held it loosely, feeling a sense of power. ” (4)

This feeling of power that Dave draws from wielding the istol is due to the lack of satisfaction within himself. He believes that the only way to gain respect is by the process of imposing fear, and in turn “nobody could run over him. ” (4) Dave continues to marvel about the long barrel and the heavy handle which intensifies his insecurities and rash ideals. Abrupt decisions are made by Dave which intensifies the naivety of his character. These choices he makes abate the reputation of Dave in the eyes of the reader. He finds his ignorance bliss. Dave constantly overlooks any consequences that are to come from his actions.

First it happens when he kills the Jenny, second after he found lying to his parents, and last his decisions after he chooses to run away from his problems. These decisions show that when the times get tough for Dave it brings out the true character in Dave. Dave is a coward at heart and he shows this in the book with his decisions. First he feels that being the owner of a gun will give him control and he won’t have to worry about the “niggers” as he refers to them at the beginning of the novel. His cowardice character is shown here because he feels threatened by other people that work with him.

The biggest decision which really pins the true lack of leadership Dave demonstrates is when he is able to take accountability for his actions. He scurries away from all the problems he has caused in the town of his to try and be a man. The qualities of being a man though are being able to show leadership, acceptance, humility, and maturity. This cowardness is the polar opposite of these traits that a man is suppose to bear. Irrationality is implemented in to Dave’s mind which will remain as a perennial mark throughout his life.

He is a static character is filled with incompetence of processing ideas. These ideas are instantaneous and not formulated enough to prove to a viable way of accomplishing his stride for manhood. They consequently aren’t beneficent and the ideas turn malicious for an outcome that’s justifiable to his autonomy of choice. Dave proves to be a coward after he is found culpable of the crime he committed since he first tried to prevaricate his way out of the situation and later ends up abandoning the punishment of repaying the owner of the mule for his accident.

He does not exhibit the traits of maturity. He belies the sense of honesty of a mature being, and cannot make realistic decisions because he lacks the control of his emotions. He let them take over and without patience his decisions became impetuous. After committing to these choices they turn harmful and begin to mar at his life until his cowardice character shows through. The qualities of being a man are vacuous in the behaviors and ideals that reside in Dave. He is a man that never will be a man.

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  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 17 February 2017

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