Books and Movies Reviews

Child ByTiger

"Child By Tiger" by Thomas Wolfe is a story about a black man, Dick Prosser, and the life
he lived being a black man living in the South. Although the story isn't fully based on
racial issues, Dick still suffers racial oppression. For example, the fight with Lon Everett,
and having to sit outside of the white church during services. Eventually, after trying for
so long to remain calm and be accepted by society, he goes crazy on a killing rampage.
"Child By Tiger"shows a complete loss of innocence reguarding Prosser. He was once an
incredible black man that had many talents most blacks didnt have. All Dick wanted was to
be accepted by society but after he had tried so hard and so long he cant bear it anymore
and that is what causes his sudden reuption of violence. Prosser transforms from being the
lamb- very innocent creature, into a tiger by the end of the story- hence the title.
In the short story “The Child by Tiger,” Thomas Wolfe uses Dick Prosser’s
situations and lifestyles to enforce his belief that Dick’s outburst of slayings stem from an
unresolved search for acceptance among the whites, blacks, and even God. The white race
takes advantage of Dick’s abilities; however, they cannot accept him as one of their own
because pre-set stereotypes inhibit inter-racial relationships. Mr. Sheppardton proclaims,
“That Dick was the best man he’d ever had, the smartest darky that he’d ever known.” But
even “the smartest darky” cannot partake in the white man’s world. This truth evidences
itself regarding church attendance. The chauffeur of the Sheppardton family, Dick must
“come up to the side door of the church while the service [is] going on…and stand there
humbly and listen during the course of the entire sermon.”Dick is not allowed to even
enter the church proudly and listen to the service; he has to stand outside and experience
the sermon from a distance…


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