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Native Son Essay & Criticism

This Study Guide consists of approximately 113 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Native Son.
This section contains 655 words
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Critical Overview

In Native Son, Richard Wright aimed to present the complex and disturbing status of racial politics in America. The great quantity of criticism that the work has generated and its popularity over more than fifty years indicate that Wright succeeded. The work has undergone several periods of critical assessment. Early reviewers, especially African American critics, recognized the book's significance. In the decade that followed its publication, the novel's stature was diminished by harsh criticism from James Baldwin and Ralph Ellison. Later critics, examining the ability of art to wage battle in the social war for greater equality, once again praised the novel. This phase coincided with the "black power" movement of the 1960s and 1970s. In the 1980s, the novel was faulted by feminist critics for its misogynist tone.

Early reviewers of the novel acknowledged its significance. Charles Poore, in the New York Times, declared that "few other...

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This section contains 655 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Native Son Study Guide
Copyrights
Native Son from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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