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Characters

Meet the Cast

Richard Wright (Dick)

He’s Just a Boy… and He’s Gonna Cut YouNow, we over here at Shmoop are pretty peaceful people. We get our yoga on, we meditate, and in general we’re pretty zenned out. That’s why we’re...

Mrs. Wright (Ella Wilson Wright)

Who?Since Richard doesn’t spend a lot of time focusing on anyone but himself, let’s get some facts about this lady. Mrs. Wright is 1) Richard’s mom. 2) Her husband leaves her when Richard and...

Mr. Wright (Nathaniel Wright)

Mean DaddyCheck out this first description of Richard’s dad: He was the lawgiver in our family and I never laughed in his presence. I used to lurk timidly in the kitchen doorway and watch his hug...

"Granny" Wilson

This isn’t your standard cookie-baking, nursery-rhyme reciting, warm-hug giving grandma. Richard’s Granny has probably never baked a cookie in her life, and we’re pretty sure she’d say that...

Grandpa Wilson (Papa, Richard Wilson)

Buffalo SoldierIf you think Granny is bad, wait until you see the prize she married. Grandpa ran away from slavery to fight in the Civil War, but as Richard says, "he was convinced that the war had...

Ella

All we know about Ella is that she’s a "remote and dreamy" schoolteacher who likes books (1.2.8). That’s all we know about her, and it’s really all we need to know. What matters is that, with...

Richard's Aunts and Uncles

There are a lot of them. Eight, to be exact. Don’t worry, though, because you really only have to worry about seven, and one of those isn’t even a real uncle.Aunt AddieAunt Addie is probably Ri...

The Communists

Ah, the Communists. These guys are Lenin fan boys. They walk, talk, dress, and act just like Dear Leader over in Mother Russia even though they were born and raised in the good ol’ US of A. They...

Griggs

Griggs is the only "friend" that we ever see with Richard. He’s also the only person who gives Richard advice instead of just ordering him around. You could say he’s something like a big brothe...

Mrs. Moss and Bess Moss

At first, meeting Mrs. Moss is like sunshine on a cloudy day. She’s nice, funny, and even gives Richard a discount on his room. But Richard really can’t catch a break, because "nice" quickly tu...

Mr. Olin and Harrison

Mr. Olin and Harrison are the two people involved with Richard’s unintentional Fight Club experience. One day out of the blue, Mr. Olin tells Richard that Harrison (who he barely knew) wants to f...

White People Who Are Nice to Richard

Mr. Falk, the Hoffmans, and Mr. Crane. That’s it. In the whole book there are exactly four white people who are nice to Richard. Four. Mr. Crane is Richard’s boss at the Optical Company who enc...
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