| Quote #7
"Wake up there, boy!" Mr. Olin said one day.
"Sir!" I answered for the lack of a better word.
"You act like you’ve stolen something," he said. (1.13.77)
This scene rocks, because Mr. Olin gets it without even realizing that he’s got it. Richard did steal something: a little bit of the American Dream.
| Quote #8
Yet I knew—with that part of my mind that the whites had given me—that none of my dreams was possible. Then I would hate myself for allowing my mind to dwell upon the unattainable. Thus the circle would complete itself. (2.15.39)
Now that Richard is getting older, he doesn’t want to dream about unattainable stuff anymore. Evidently wanting to be awesome is little kid stuff.
| Quote #9
To solve this tangle of balked emotion, I loaded the empty part of the ship of my personality with fantasies of ambition to keep it from toppling over into the sea of senselessness. Like any other American, I dreamed of going into business and making money; I dreamed of working for a firm that would allow me to advance until I reached an important position; I even dreamed of organizing secret groups of blacks to fight all whites […]" (2.15.39)
"When I grow up I want to be a doctor, and a ballerina, and an astronaut, and a chef, and a truck driver... "