This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by professional essay writers.

Representation of Various Faces of Shame in "Shame" by Dick Gregory

downloadDownload printPrint

Pssst… we can write an original essay just for you.

Any subject. Any type of essay. We’ll even meet a 3-hour deadline.

Get your price

121 writers online

Download PDF

Shame is inevitable. It is something that everyone everywhere will encounter. The pathos short story “Shame” by esteemed author Dick Gregory emphasises the struggles, prejudice and discrimination held upon a black boy in a discoloured society. From a young age, Richard faces the stresses of poverty, constantly ridiculed and targeted because he stands out, indeed a victim of racism. Richard Gregory experiences the feeling of shame, which is highlighted in this story through the use of 3 instrumental characters: His teacher, his crush (Helene Tucker) and his father.

First and foremost, shame is showcased through his reaction to his teacher’s remarks of him. She deliberately disgraces him in front of his class and looks upon him with disdain. This is evident when the author writes: “I sat in the idiot’s seat and the teacher thought I was a troublemaker, Richard we know you don’t have a daddy; we are raising money for you and your kind”. When we are children, adults’ opinions matter deeply to us. Without a parental figure, Richard looks to his teacher for approval. The predicament that occurs that day at school alters his original vision of his teacher negatively and helps him realize that she thinks less of him. It is clear that he begins to understand how others perceive him. Richard is severely shamed because his teacher tells and treats him like he is something to be ashamed of. She is so overbearing that she chooses to undermine and disregard all the talents he has to offer.

Moreover, Richard encounters another type of shame when he is humiliated in front of Helene Tucker; a girl he cares about. This is especially painful because when talking about Helene, Gregory says: “Everyone’s got a Helene Tucker, a symbol of everything you want. That day, Helene Tucker turned around, her eyes full of tears, sorry for me. When I played the drums it was for Helene and when I stood on stage and heard applause, I wished Helene heard too”. Shame affects us when we realize that the people we care about feel sorry for us. In the story, it becomes apparent that Helene Tucker takes pity on Richard when she finds out that he does not have a father. Helene’s pity is agonizing because she represents everything that he wants. She is his only desire and symbolizes an intense motivation or a trophy. Richard is devastated, so he devotes parts of his life dedicating various key moments to her. Ultimately, the author brilliantly exhibits shame in this story as he connects it to the absence of Richard’s father in his life. It is believed that a child benefits greatly from a father figure as it helps the child grow to their fullest potential. His struggles are implied with the quotations: “I decided I was going to save my money from shining shoes and buy a daddy right then. No time for jokes, Richard. The world heard the teacher say – we all know you don’t have a daddy”. A childhood without a father bestowed a negative toll on Richard’s self- respect, pride and dignity as revealed in this story. Society automatically categorizes him and judges him. He is downgraded and regarded as unavailing. This shame impacts how he views himself. Richard suffers due to an issue out of his control but still makes him feel like he is missing a pivotal piece in his life.

In the end, Richard Gregory’s battle with shame causes him to question everything he does, including his everyday routines. He begins to regret and feel shame while doing regular actions like washing his clothes with ice or begging for leftovers from Mister Ben’s. It is clear that shame acts like a cankerworm eating into the fabrics of his life. The author’s message of shame is showcased in this story through the use of Richard’s teacher, Helene Tucker and his father.

Remember: This is just a sample from a fellow student.

Your time is important. Let us write you an essay from scratch

experts 450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help you just now

delivery Starting from 3 hours delivery

Find Free Essays

We provide you with original essay samples, perfect formatting and styling

Cite this Essay

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

Representation Of Various Faces Of Shame In “Shame” By Dick Gregory. (2020, December 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 21, 2022, from
“Representation Of Various Faces Of Shame In “Shame” By Dick Gregory.” GradesFixer, 10 Dec. 2020,
Representation Of Various Faces Of Shame In “Shame” By Dick Gregory. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 21 Jan. 2022].
Representation Of Various Faces Of Shame In “Shame” By Dick Gregory [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2020 Dec 10 [cited 2022 Jan 21]. Available from:
copy to clipboard

Sorry, copying is not allowed on our website. If you’d like this or any other sample, we’ll happily email it to you.

    By clicking “Send”, you agree to our Terms of service and Privacy statement. We will occasionally send you account related emails.


    Attention! This essay is not unique. You can get a 100% Plagiarism-FREE one in 30 sec

    Receive a 100% plagiarism-free essay on your email just for $4.99
    get unique paper
    *Public papers are open and may contain not unique content
    download public sample

    Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.



    Please check your inbox.

    Want us to write one just for you? We can custom edit this essay into an original, 100% plagiarism free essay.

    thanks-icon Order now

    Hi there!

    Are you interested in getting a customized paper?

    Check it out!
    Having trouble finding the perfect essay? We’ve got you covered. Hire a writer

    Haven't found the right essay?

    Get an expert to write you the one you need!


    Professional writers and researchers


    Sources and citation are provided


    3 hour delivery