Structure

The short story “On Being Crazy” by W. E. B. Du Bois has a chronological structure. The plot follows the narrator over a few hours and looks at his attempts to access different places.

The beginning of the story introduces the narrator and the context: “It was one o’clock and I was hungry. I walked into a restaurant, seated myself, and reached for the bill of fare. My table companion rose” (p. 1, ll. 1-2). Although the beginning does not explicitly mention that the narrator is a black man, it gives some hints that foreshadow the narrator’s future conflicts in the story. An example of this is the fact that the man in the restaurant mentions social equality as a reason for why the narrator should not be allowed to eat in the restaurant.

The narrative can be separat...

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