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