Native Son Essay

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In the following essay, Averbach, a writer and translator with a doctorate from the University of Buenos Aires, illuminates Wright's motivations for writing the novel and discusses the strategies the author uses to express his themes.

In 1940, when Native Son was published, African Americans already had an impressive tradition of poetry and essay writing, but Richard Wright's work was the first critically significant novel by a black author in the United States. The subject of Native Son was quite a shock for many critics and writers. Some black critics protested because, according to them, the book was doing exactly what should not be done: showing white people that their prejudices against black men were true. Those critics believed black writers should only write about cultured, refined black people, so as to show the white world that blacks could be trusted, that they were capable of achieving the same...

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This section contains 1,829 words
(approx. 5 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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