Black Boy is Richard Wright's nonfiction account of growing up black in the South during the Jim Crow-era and his experience as a young adult living in Chicago during the 1930s. Richard endures many hardships, including violence, stemming from the racism of southern whites. As a young man, Richard moves North to Chicago, though he continues to struggle with segregation and poverty as he becomes involved in Communist politics. Black Boy doubles as a remarkable record of the experiences of black people during a turbulent time in American History and a powerful personal narrative of oppression.
The Playboy of the Western World is a play about Christy Mahon, an Irishman who claims he killed his father. At Flaherty's tavern, he recounts the murder so skillfully that Flaherty and his daughter, Pegeen, are impressed. Pegeen abandons her betrothed, Shawn, for Christy and the town becomes infatuated with him. Eventually his father, only wounded, comes to the town and, to avoid ridicule, Christy tries again to kill him. The townsfolk this time try to punish him, but he and his father, again surviving, manage to leave the town.