TU || Flax Golden Tales || Four Levels of Interpretation Lesson 9

Level: B.A/ B.B.S || Education || Lesson 9 The Library Card (Richard Wright, USA (1908-1960))

Words Meaning

Lobby = Veranda

Mopping = Sweeping

Commercial = Related with trade

Editorial = Written by editor

Encountered = Met, came across

Vague = Unclear

Patronize = Help

Hostility = Amenity

Several = Many

Clumsy = Rough

Comprehend = Understand

Betray = Deceive

Hesitated = Became nervous

Imponderable = Can be evaluate

Whisper = Murmur

Suspiciously = Doubtfully

Stared = Looked

Quizzically = With the same of question

Nigger = Black people

Forge = Conspiracy

Errand =Short journey for work

Thumbed = To turn with thumb

Disappointed = Unhappy

Prejudice = Bias

Frowned = To scrutinize forehead

Rented = Hired

Demon = Satan

Denouncing = Giving up

Glance = To look

Exist = Live

Conviction = Faith

Surge = Rise

Dopey = Continue

Conquer = Win

Guilt = Fault

Addle = Confuse

Endure = Bear

Denied = Rejected

Buoying = Indicating the danger

Terrible = Fearful

Condemned = Hatred

Desperately = Sadly

Yearnings = Desires

Avenues = Wage

Naïve = Innocent

Unlettered = Illiterate

Criminal = Sinner

Obtain = Get

Tentative = Estimated

Departure = Leave

Genial = Happiness

Inherit = Transmit

Drain = Dry

Anxiety = Worry

Longing = Desire

Repugnant = Hateful

Alien = Foreign

Pry = Look

Thrust = Push

Summary

One day the writer –Richard Writer found a magazine and he read the editorial page of that magazine. In this part of editor H.L Mencken was badly criticized though Mencken was a famous writer. When Richard saw this, he wanted to read Mencken’s books but Richard didn’t have a library card to read Mencken’s work.

So he went to his friend Mr. Falk who was also a white man. He borrowed a library card from his friend could get two books. “A Book of prefaces” and Prejudices” from this book he knew about Mencken. These books made him remind his mother’s sufferings because they were blacks. He took help from dictionaries while he read these Books, He kept on reading one after another. Every book developed his thinking power about the life of the Negro people in the land of white people.

He saw the prejudices in America especially there was more racial discrimination in North American. So he wanted to migrate from North America to South America there was majority of blacks where he could write something against the Whites but it was not possible in North America. In his office he couldn’t tell anything against whited. He did what his boss instructed to do. He wanted to be a great writer like other whites.

Four Levels of Interpretation

  1. Literal Comprehension:

This text was taken from Richard Wright autobiographical novel. The Black boy. One day the writer –Richard Wright found a magazine and he read the editorial page of that magazine. In this part of editor H.L Mencken was badly criticized though Mencken was a famous writer. When Richard saw this, he wanted to read Mencken’s books but Richard didn’t have library card to read Mencken’s work.

So he went to his friend Mr. Falk who was also white man. He borrowed a library card from his friend could get two books. “A Book of Prefaces” and “Prejudices” from this book he knew about Mencken. These books made him remind his mother’s sufferings because they were blacks. He took help from dictionaries while he read these Books, He kept on reading one after another. Every book developed his thinking power about the life of the Negro people in the land of white people.

He saw the prejudices in America especially there was more racial discrimination in North American. So, he wanted to migrate from North America to South America. In South America there was majority of blacks where he could write something against the Whites but it was not possible in North America. In his office he couldn’t tell anything against whites. He did hat his boss instructed to do. He wanted to be a great writer like other whites.

  1. Interpretation:

The writer tries to show illiteracy among blacks. He also tries to show how blacks were dominated by whites. They felt as if they were in the exile in their own land. They were not allowed to enter the parks and libraries enjoy and read books. They were not given library cards by the whites. They weren’t treated as human beings. So the writer had to borrow Mr. Falk’s library card to borrow some books written by H.L. Mencken. Similarly, he suffered much where he was living. Blacks weren’t educated as whites.

  1. Critical Thinking

Infact reading book broadens our mind. As Richard Wright read Mencken’s books and editorial of magazine, he knew the reality of Negros in America. He understood his mother’s sufferings when his mother was alive. So reading books have great importance. But Richard Wright says that he didn’t have library card and he had to borrow it from his friend Mr. Falk. This shows racial discrimination in well-democratic country America. But I doubt, was the writer not allowed to get education? I don’t so. He might have got permission to get education. I have heard blacks were hated due to their color but I haven’t heard yet that they weren’t allowed to get education.

  1. Assimilation

After reading this text, I remembered the days when I was in Kathmandu. The vender, who used to sell fruit walking along the road, was called Marse by the Newari people because he was black and was from Janakpur. Having black complexion, he was called Marse. Newari boys kenw that he was from Madhesh. Though the vender was poor, he used to go to door to door to sell his papaya, pine apple, roasted maize etc. Next I knew that by reading books we can learn about life style or culture of different communities. The book that we read can bring change in our life. As Richard Wright was greatly influenced by reading the books written by H.L. Mencken and became ready to write against Whites ill-treatments towards Negros in America.

Possible Questions

  1. Do you agree with Richard Wright and Moti Nissani that education is supremely valuable? Why or why not?
  2. How does the writer depict the racial discrimination in America in his contemporary?

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