Native Son - Book 1 Summary & Analysis

This Study Guide consists of approximately 85 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Native Son.
This section contains 2,990 words
(approx. 8 pages at 400 words per page)
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Book 1 Summary

On the surface, Native Son tells the story of Bigger Thomas, a young man shackled by poverty and racism in 1930s Chicago, whose unintentional murder of a white woman and subsequent actions touch off a city-wide manhunt that leads to capture, conviction and the death sentence. Yet, the undercurrents deliver the real tale. The novel is more than a lurid action tale of murder and mayhem; it is a clarion call for a deeper understanding of how the failure to address the problems caused by years of systematic oppression can lead to bitter rebellion and desperate violence.

The first third of the novel begins in a squalid one-room apartment in the "Black Belt" of Chicago, a rat terrorizes where the family of four sharing cramped quarters. Bigger Thomas corners the creature behind a trunk, where it cowers briefly before hurtling from its hiding place and...

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This section contains 2,990 words
(approx. 8 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Native Son Study Guide
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Novels for Students
Native Son from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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