Narrator and point of view

The events described in the short story “On Being Crazy” by W. E. B. Du Bois are told by a first-person narrator, who is also the main character. The first-person perspective helps readers have a better view of how black people might have felt in the 1920s, when racial segregation was enforced in the US. The choice of narrator makes the story more personal and appeals to the readers’ empathy.

In the first part of the story, the narrator’s identity is only hinted at, which creates confusion as to why his presence is rejected by the other characters. This also helps to highlight the absurdity of the racial discrimination the narrator experience. It is only later, when the narrator arrives at the hotel, that the story reveals he is a black man: 

‘This is a white hotel,...

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