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Word Count: 279
The Man Who Was Almost a Man is a story of a young black plantation worker named Dave He was seventeen years of age but feels he needs to prove to those around him that he is a man He thinks to himself that if he had a gun others would respect him He begs his mother to allow him to purchase a gun with his earned wages She finally allows him to do so under the condition that he brings it straight home to his father It turns out that he never had the intention of doing this He kept the gun in his possession It seemed to make him feel powerful just having the gun The next day when he was far out in the fields he built up enough courage to fire the weapon When he does so the power recoil of the pistol disorients him After composing himself he comes to realize that he has shot the plantation owners plow mule He first tries to cover up what has happened The workers and townspeople gather around and after his parents arrive he breaks down in tears like a child and tells the truth The plantation owner makes him pay for the mule out of his wages He realizes that this would take him two years of work to make that amount of money so he jumps on a train in the middle of the night and leaves without a trace The irony of this story is that in the process of trying to prove his manhood Dave shows his immaturity and inability to handle adult situations In the end he is still a mere boy
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