Wright, however, does not claim this as his life, but rather as a Record of Youth and Childhood, the tale of a Black Boy growing up in the Southern States between the two World Wars. Thus a generic life.
The day Native Son appeared, American culture was changed forever. No matter how much qualifying the book might later need, it made impossible a repetition of the old lies.
In all its crudeness, melodrama and claustrophobia of vision, Richard Wright's novel brought out into the open, as no one ever had before, the hatred, fear and violence that have crippled and may yet destroy our culture.
A blow at the white man, the novel forced him to recognize himself as an oppressor. A blow at the black man, the novel forced him to recognize the cost of his submission. Native Son assaulted the most cherished of American vanities: Speaking from the black wrath of retribution, Wright insisted that history can be a punishment.
He told us the one thing even the most liberal whites preferred not to hear: At first Native Son seems still another naturalistic novel…. Behind the book one senses the molding influence of Theodore Dreiser, especially the Dreiser of An American Tragedy who knows there are situations so oppressive that only violence can provide their victims with the hope of dignity.
Like Dreiser, Wright wished to pummel his readers into awareness; like Dreiser, to overpower them with the sense of society as an enclosing force. Yet the comparison is finally of limited value, and for the disconcerting reason that Dreiser had a white skin and Wright a black one.
The usual naturalistic novel is written with detachment, as if by a scientist surveying a field of operations; it is a novel in which the writer withdraws from a detested world and coldly piles up the evidence for detesting it.
Native Son, though preserving some of the devices of the naturalistic novel, deviates sharply from its characteristic tone: Native Son is a work of assault rather than withdrawal; the author yields himself in part to a vision of nightmare. Bigger's cowering perception of the world becomes the most vivid and authentic component of the book.
Naturalism pushed to an extreme turns here into something other than itself, a kind of expressionist outburst, no longer a replica of the familiar social world but a self-contained realm of grotesque emblems.
That Native Son has grave faults anyone can see. The language is often coarse, flat in rhythm, syntantically overburdened, heavy with journalistic slag. Apart from Bigger, who seems more a brute energy than a particularized figure, the characters have little reality, the Negroes being mere stock accessories and the whites either "agit-prop" villains or heroic Communists whom Wright finds it easier to admire from a distance than establish from the inside….
The main literary problem that troubled Wright in recent years was that of rendering his naturalism a more terse and supple instrument. I think he went astray whenever he abandoned naturalism entirely…. Wright needed the accumulated material of circumstance which naturalistic detail provided his fiction; it was as essential to his ultimate effect of shock and bruise as dialogue to Hemingway's ultimate effect of irony and loss.
But Wright was correct in thinking that the problem of detail is the most vexing technical problem the naturalist writer must face, since the accumulation that makes for depth and solidity can also create a pall of tedium.
When [Richard Wright] drew his self-portrait in Black Boy …, [he] went to some pains to make clear that his cultural alienation had begun in his black home and in a black community where, as a small child, he was scarcely aware of the existence of a white race.
Writing in his early thirties, Wright insisted upon the fact that his family had tried to beat fear and submission into his nature years before interracial contacts made evident the rationale for a "nigger" identity. Creating the image of himself as a perceptive child, sensitive and imaginative and forever trying the conduct of his elders in the court of his innocent intellect, Wright seeks to demonstrate that from the start he was never able to accept the role being foisted upon him by the black community; that when the time came for participation in the Southern racist assumptions he could not make the instinctive adjustments which both black and white accepted as an inevitable way of life; and that his flight to the North was as much a flight from the black as from the interracial community.
In fact he saw black and white as inseparably fused in their acceptance of a grotesque racial myth. What angered many black readers of Wright's autobiography [Black Boy] even more than the disclosure of Negroes as leading shabby, empty, fear-ridden, tyrannized lives was his portrayal of them as yielding mindlessly to such degrading tyranny and positively insisting on preparing their young by what Ralph Ellison termed the "homeopathic method" for submission to such a mythos….Essay title: Richard Wright's Novel Native Son Richard Wright's novel, Native Son, consisted of various main and supporting character to deliver an effective array of personalities and expression.
Each character's actions defines their individual personalities and belief systems. Black Boy essaysBlack Boy and the "American Hunger" Since the beginning of time there has been hunger.
When a person thinks about hunger, the first thing that comes to their mind is food. We never think of the word hunger . Black Boy by Richard Wright - Alienation in Black Boy This essay will talk about how Richard in Black Boy was living a life of alienation, created by his oppressors the white man and how the white man's power was able to make the black community oppress itself.
Wright, Richard – A Black American novelist and short story writer, Wright is considered one of the most articulate spokesmen for the American Black man.
Analysis of Richard Wright’s ‘Black Boy’ Black Boy Essay. In Richard Wright’s autobiography of Black Boy, Richard is determined to leave his family to move to the north because they do not provide the necessities for him to be successful. Richard’s bold and stubborn personality negates him success.
This runs parallel to the abuse. Obviously, Wright did not think of himself as a black boy. The very term is a social judgment, not just used by white society but inherited by the black folk in Richard's life. Richard's family saw him as bad ("black"), just as the whites did, because he expressed himself as an individual.