“Long Black Song” narrative highlights several themes by exposure of the characters in different arenas or acts. The characters: Sarah, sila who is Sarah’s husband Tom and many other small characters reveal the themes of: racism, immorality, race superiority, and marriage betrayal. However betrayal is best highlighted by the characters. The story employs the use of the color of ones skin to interpret different circumstances When the white man enters Sarah house with the intent of selling the gramophone highlights the modes of the culture of the white man.
It exhibits superiority in color; considering that he could get whatever he wanted with ease from a black person. The white man somehow tries to persuade Sarah to buy the gramophone despite her intensive refusal to buy the gadget. The man shows arrogance and inconsideration for the African women. The man could go to the extent of leaving the handkerchiefs; clothes and the gramophone noting that he could not even consider what Sarah husband would does if he found the items in the house. He notes that because his race he is much superior to that of blacks he could not think of the Sarah husband.
Sila would love to be white, as he perceives that being so resembles success in life. He admires and pursues the things that the white men think they are their entitlements. The black women have the encounters from the admirations from the white people. The white conducts their desires to the black women at night. The white men and the women meet at night to engage in the night business to satisfy their desires. However, the confusion emerges in that both races envies the other and would love to have what the other has; however, the second part of the song presents a persistency of the nbearable relations between the two races (Wright). The story exhibits deficient control for the situations that happen. The portrayal of Sila shows that he does not agree or affirm to fighting. He indicates a decrease in the aspirations of struggling, in addition to nearly killing his dream after killing the white man. Sila experiences extensive discrimination and this reduces his morale. The remarks that he makes about the whites, (they take your freedom, your women, dignity and the ultimate good enough) shows his dislike for the white man.
Sila shows hopelessness and the inability to continue fighting for what he considers right for him. Sarah is quite nostalgic about the back white goods days; however, the reality disappoints her. Her daydream renders her incapable of good things ahead. The writing presents different colors that have wide and different meaning to the people. The association of the blue color shows trust, wisdom, truth and loyalty is quite noticeable; however, silver embodies security, maturity and intelligence. They assist in the passing of the fundamentals of the messages and the themes presented in writing.
Analysis shows that the blue and the silver tears of Sarah represent the loss of the qualities resembled by the colors. This prompts her to kneel and breathe heavily trying to prevent herself from falling. Sarah’s unfaithfulness to sila could be the cause her discomfort. Her screams, “But he is a white man! A white man! Naw! Naw! ” Supports the stand of woman in support for her move (Wright) Other arguments show it takes almost only one night to ruin the life composing of dreams and hopes regarding the future.
The commencement of the narration indicates Sarah intimate and close relationship to Tom. She eludes the loneliness, which dramatically leads to her encounter with the white man. This is after thinking “of the white bright days and the deep desire of dark black nights” (Wright). Her acceptance of the Whiteman’s offer indicates her love for the dark black nights. There is doubt whether Sarah recognizes that on hearing the music she moves towards accepting the offers of the white man. The narrator highlights it as, “The color in the wood glowed softly.
It reminded her of the light she saw sometimes in the baby’s eyes. Slowly she slid a finger over a beveled edge; she wanted to take the box into her arms and kiss it. ” The author adds “the white man breathing at her side; felt his eyes on her face…. [and]. Saw he was looking at her breasts” (Wright). Timing of the white man facilitates Sarah’s acceptance especially considering she was dearly reminiscing about her past love escapades. The white man arrives in her life when she is in her weakest point of life and unexpectedly has nothing capability to resist his moves.
Sarah’s husband tries much to gather his dreams and desires for his farming ambitions and endeavors to live like the white man. This is shown by Silas remarks in the writing, ‘Ah bought ten mo acres lan. Got from ol man Burgess. Paid im a hundred n fifty dollahs down…. Ahma has t git a man t hep me nex spring…’ (Wright). However, the realization of the white man visit ruffles all the dreams and the ambitions Sila had fades away. He has emotions from the betrayal by the woman he planned to be with. To the contrary, Sarah does not feel sorry for her actions.
This emerges from her feeling of hearing Silas footsteps as he comes the author notes it as “to feel the peace of night filling her again. ” In case she feel vindictive or wrong for her actions to the husband she would have repented and even explained the whole incident to him; however, she denies it. Throughout the story, silas shows hard work and commitment, despite the effects from the oppression and racism in the region. This emerges from the regards taken from “But, Lawd, Ah don wanna be this way!
It don’t mean anything! Yuh die ef yuh fight! Yud die ef yuh don fight! Either way yuh die n it don mean nothing…” (Wright). He sticks to his morals in the pursuit for his goals. His actions during the fight seem unreligious, but it is arguable that he is trying to survive in a hostile environment.
Wright, Richard. “Long Black Song. ”The Norton Anthology of African American Literature. Ed. Harry Louis Gates Jr. and Nellie Y. McKay. New York;W. W. Norton and Company Inc. , 2004. 1419-1436.