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Unformatted text preview: His mother's method of punishing him with God and a beating are also clues to Richard's later behavior. The God she chastises him with is a merciless oppressor a kind of supernatural manifestation of white society. He has strict codes of conduct, demands instant obedience, and, when defied, gives instant punishment. Richard's mother, here and elsewhere, uses God as another, more awesome term for white people in order to impress on her son the necessity to "stay in his place." God becomes many things; to whatever Richard's mother is unable to cope with or explain in human terms, He is introduced as the solution. Under the circumstances, God is bound to fail very quickly. He is supposed to provide food when they are hungry, but He doesn't. Instead, it is clear to the boy that his father and later his mother is the breadwinner, not God. The whole question of food is not dropped there. When a preacher comes the breadwinner, not God....
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- Fall '08
- Ode, instant punishment. Richard