On Being Crazy

This study guide will help you analyze the short story “On Being Crazy” by W. E. B. Du Bois. You can also find a summary of the text, as well as inspiration for interpreting it and putting it into perspective.

Presentation of the text

Title: “On Being Crazy” (1923)
Author: W. E. B. Du Bois
Genre: Short story

W. E. B. Du Bois (1868-1963) was an American author, civil rights activist, and historian. Du Bois fought against discrimination and racial segregation in the United States and was an active figure in the Harlem Renaissance movement.


Here, you can read an extract from our study guide: 

Social setting

The narrator’s experience also highlights the fact that the social setting deals with issues such as racial discrimination in the United States. Although he is a middle-class man who can afford various services around town, the narrator is constantly told off because of his skin color. The white people in the story are against social equality, which they believe the narrator is trying to advance. They are offended that he refuses to conform to segregationist laws...

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On Being Crazy

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