Essay on Native Son

Native Son is a critically acclaimed, best-selling novel by Richard Wright (1908-1960) that tells the story of Bigger Thomas, an impoverished and uneducated black man. Bigger’s life in South Chicago (a predominantly African-American area) is miserable and he remains bitter and angry over his social condition – one that involves the constant burden of being black in a white man’s world. He is convinced that he has no control over his life and that he will never be anything more than a low-wage laborer due to his skin color. Bigger represents significant problems in America during Richard Wright’s lifetime – racism, violence, and the debasement of African-Americans. Through Bigger, Wright forces the reader to enter the mind of an oppressed Negro and to understand the effects of the demoralizing social conditions African-Americans were raised in during the early 20th century. Throughout the book, it is thoroughly established that not all of Bigger’s crimes are his fault – part of the blame for his crimes must be attributed to the fearful, hopeless existence that society has imposed on African-Americans since their birth. Through the use of numerous literary techniques, Richard Wright makes a thundering statement about race relations in the 1930s and how racism played a key role in influencing the lives and decisions of many African-Americans during this time period.

Wright uses Symbolism extensively throughout the book in order to portray how racism affected the lives and decisions of African-Americans in the pre-World War II era. These symbols are extremely effective as they open the reader to the harsh truth about race-relations in the 1930s while making him/her explore their own beliefs on the topic. The first major symbol used…

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…omed before he was even born. Richard Wright effective stated the effects of racism on the lives and decisions of African-Americans through the use of Foreshadowing in Native Son.

Through the use of Symbolism and Foreshadowing in Native Son, Richard Wright makes a powerful statement about race relations in the 1930s and how racism played a key role in influencing the lives and decisions of many African-Americans during this time period. Wright used this book as a platform to tell the world how racist society in the 20th century shaped African-American lives throughout the US. He enhanced the book through numerous literary techniques and thanks to his trail-blazing work of literature, African-Americans today live in a much better society.

Works Cited

Wright, Richard. Native Son. Restored Edition ed. 1940. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1993.Print.

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