Analysis

An analysis of the short story “On Being Crazy” by W. E. B. Du Bois shows that the text has a chronological structure. The story follows the narrator over a few hours, as he is repeatedly told off and denied the right to access common locations. 

The main character is the narrator, an African-American man who tries to purchase basic services and is confronted with the racism and prejudice of others.

The physical setting is Texas, the United States, where the narrator is denied access when he goes to a restaurant, a theater, a hotel, and a train station. The social setting looks at the issue of racial discrimination in the United States.

The events are told from the perspective of a first-person narrator, who is also the main character in the story.

The language is simple and the characters’ dialogues reflect the social inequality of the time when black people were denied basic rights because of their skin color. 

A full analysis of the short story can be found on the following pages.

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