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A Fool and His Gun

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Submitted By LuckyG1rl
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A Fool and his Gun
The story "The Man Who Was Almost a Man” by Richard Wright provides insight into the main character, Dave Saunders, by providing a stream of consciousness perspective. Still a boy, Dave’s desire to be respected as an adult is undermined by his immature actions. Frustrated by how he is treated by other people, Dave becomes fixated on the idea that if he had a gun, “then they couldn’t talk to him as though he were a little boy” (899 Wright). He impulsively heads to the store to get a catalog so he can look at guns. When the store owner mentions he has an old gun to sell at a low price, Dave hurries home scheming to “git some money from Ma n buy me a gun” (900) with no consideration of the danger and liability that accompany the responsibility of gun ownership. While his mother won’t allow him to have a gun, she agrees to give him money so he can buy the gun for his father. Dave promises he will return and give her the gun, but the temptation of it is overwhelming once he has it in his possession. He breaks his promise, takes steps to elude his mother, and takes the gun to work. Once alone, he foolishly fires the gun with his eyes shut, shooting Jenny, Mr. Hawkins mule. When he realizes he has shot Jenny, instead of taking responsibility for his actions, he buries the gun and concocts a false story. Only when he is confronted by his parents does he admit that he shot her, explaining that he was just testing the gun, as if it justified his actions. Unable to comprehend his role in creating this situation, “anger bubbled in him” (906) instead of remorse. Later that evening, he sneaks away to retrieve the gun, shoots the remaining bullets, and spitefully thinks about shooting at Mr. Hawkins house “jusa enough t let im know Dave Saunders is a man” (907). Obsessed with his gun and unable to face the consequences of his actions, he attempts to…...

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