The Style, Point of View, Form and Structure of Native Son, by Richard Wright

Richard Wright, in his novel, Native Son, favors short, simple,

blunt sentences that help maintain the quick narrative pace of the

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novel, at least in the first two books. For example, consider the

following passage: “He licked his lips; he was thirsty. He looked

at his watch; it was ten past eight. He would go to the kitchen

and get a drink of water and then drive the car out of the garage.

” Wright’s imagery is often brutal and elemental, as in his frequently

repeated references to fire and snow and Mary’s bloody head.

Though the style is similar to that of much of the detective fiction

of Wright’s day, some readers find it perfectly suited to a novel told

from the point of view of an uneducated youth, driven by

overpowering feelings of fear, shame, and hate. Even the novel’s

cliches (stale or overused phrases or expressions like “…he had

his destiny in his grasp”) may fit a central character who gets his

information about the larger world from the cliche-ridden mass media.

Wright worked within the liter…

…e pronounces upon Bigger. Bigger must then

decide how to approach his impending death. That decision is the final

resolution of both Book Three and the novel as a whole.

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