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The Library Card – Four Levels of Interactions | BBA English

The Library Card – Four Levels of Interactions

Chapter 8 – The Library Card

Richard Wright, USA (1908-1960)

Summary in English

One day the writer- Richard Wright found a magazine and he read the editorial page of that magazine. In this part of the 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. In South America, there was a 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 the whites. He did what his boss instructed to do. He wanted to be a  great writer like other whites.

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Four Levels of Interpretation

Literal Comprehension

One day the writer- Richard Wright found a magazine and he read the editorial page of that magazine. In this part of the 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.

He thought of several people who could lend him their library cards so that he could borrow books from the nearby library. He went to his friend Mr. Falk, an Irish Catholic who was also a white man. Mr. Falk agreed to give him his wife’s library card on his own risk. 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.

After going through the books he came to know why he was condemned by Southern Whites. He had criticized American policy, goods, and authority and praised European, especially German goods. 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. The writer started borrowing more books and reading became his passion.

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 a 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 what his boss instructed to do. He wanted to be a great writer like other whites.

One day the writer- Richard Wright found a magazine and he read the editorial page of that magazine. In this part of the 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 a 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 mothers 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.

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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 a 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 what his boss instructed to do. He wanted to be a great writer like other whites.

Interpretation

The writer tries to show illiteracy among black. He also tries to show how blacks were dominated by whites. They felt as if they 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 as educated as whites. In this essay, he tries to say that education develops self- awareness, independence, and proficiency of a person.

Critical Thinking

In fact, reading the book broadens our mind. As Richard Wright read Mencken’s books and editorial of a magazine, he knew the reality of Negro 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 a library card and he had to borrow it from his friend Mr. Falk. This shows racial discrimination in a well- democratic country of America. But I doubt, was the write not allowed to get an education? I don’t think so. He might have got permission to get an education. I have blacks were hated due to their color but I haven’t heard yet that wasn’t allowed to get an education.

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Assimilation

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

Possible Question

  1. Do you agree with Richard Wright and Moti Nissani that education is supremely valuable? Why or why not?

Ans:- Moti Nissan’s essay ‟Why go to University” deals with university education for knowledge, better income and job opportunities, social respect, career development and so on.

The writer-Richard Wright tries to show illiteracy among blacks. He also tries to show how blacks were dominated by whites. They felt as they were in the exile in their own land. They were not allowed to enter the parks and libraries to 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 much where he was living. Blacks weren’t as educated as whites.

Moti Nissani says that educated people have knowledge. They can solve any problem with the help of knowledge, Due to knowledge, human beings are different from animals. Getting an education also needs mental practice. There is mental exercise by reading and writing. Education also roots out old traditions from one’s mind. Educated people become alert about health hazards. Similarly, if we go to university, we can meet many friends who are from different places. We can make friends with them. We can become familiar with the culture of different people. So the university gives knowledge of the world, human race, politics, economics, etc.

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It develops our society and civilization. Democracy is also well- developed when people are well-educated. People become conscious of their rights and duties. When people are educated, they have knowledge. If someone has knowledge, he gets respect in society.

But in Richard Wrights essay ‟The Library Card″ he gives much importance to reading books. According to him, reading books and duties and citizen.

2. How does the writer depict the racial discrimination in America in his contemporary?

Ans:- According to the writer whites hated blacks and blacks were deprived of the right to vote, enter in the hotel worked in White boss’ office. One day he read a newspaper named, commercial Appeal in which a famous writer-Mencken was scolded by a white man on the editorial page of commercial Appeal Magazine saying ‟Mencken is a fool” he knew one white man was abused by another man. He wanted to read Mencken’s books. He didn’t have a library card so he borrowed from others to take a book from the library.

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