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Native Son by Richard Wright - Book Report/Review Example

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The Novel "Native Sun" written by Richard Wright is about a twenty-year-old black boy named Bigger Thomas, who grows up in extreme poverty in the ghettos of South Chicago. Bigger always finds himself in loads of trouble growing up until he gets himself a job at the Daltons, a rich white family…
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Download file "Native Son by Richard Wright Book Report/Review" to see previous pages... Then, he commences to raping his girlfriend. When news starts getting out about his crimes, and when the police pursue him, he runs and hides. When caught, he is tried and is given the death sentence. Bigger does not really want to commit the crimes that he did; however, he feels that it was deep within him to do so.
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Wright confirms this by writing, "I didn't want to kill", Bigger shouted. "But what I killed for, I am! It must've been pretty deep in me to make me kill." (Wright) One might wonder why it is so deep within Bigger to commit the crimes that he did. Bigger's Lawyer tells us by stating that, "No American Negro exists, who does not have his private Bigger Thomas living in his skull." (Wright) This means that black people will behave just as society expects them to. They will follow the path that society thinks they should follow, one of poverty, crime, and trouble. Various elements in the novel, such as Bigger's treatment by his friends and the rest of society, as well as his motivations, fall into the category of literary naturalism.

Before we explain how elements of "Native Sun" fall into the category of literary naturalism, we must first develop an understanding of the actual meaning of literary naturalism. According to an article written about literary naturalism and how it has evolved over history. ...
ing naturalism." Additionally, "both the darker Malthusian current and the utopian evolutionary theory of Spencer contribute to a broader conception of naturalism." (Palmer, 833-834) According to an article written about a renowned literary scholar and his works, literary naturalism is merely an extension of reality. In order for a literary work to fall into the category of literary naturalism, the theme of the work must contain two contradictions or tensions. For instance, one tension can exist between low class citizens and the rest of society, let say the middle and upper classes. Another tension can be present when the main character realizes an unsettling truth, and he must reconcile with it, no matter how uncomfortable it may be. The character may be poor and defeated, and his emotions may confirm this; however, he must do whatever possible to face what is ahead of him. Tension happens in this case because he has to fight with his inner self, as well as with the outer influences of the world (Brennan, 8). Both of these themes are present in "Native Sun." Bigger is a low class citizen, as he grew up and continued to live in extreme poverty, and he has to struggle with the unsettling truths that he discovers about himself upon working at the Dalton home.
Literary naturalism also suggests that heredity, social class, and one's environment are the key factors in shaping a person's character. Such elements of literary naturalism are derived from the teachings of Charles Darwin, hence the reason for the belief of such forces shaping the characters in the story. Works that fall into the category of literary naturalism typically focus on the evils of life, such as poverty and racism (Brennan, 8). These elements can be seen throughout "Native Sun," as these themes shape ...Download file "Native Son by Richard Wright Book Report/Review" to see next pagesRead More
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