Native Son Setting

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Native Son is set in late 1930s Chicago. Wright uses the setting to help point out the sharp contrasts between the black slum world and the affluent world of the Daltons, which has been built at the blacks' expense.

Wright sets the particular hardships of black residents of South Side Chicago against the background of the Great Depression, political and economic corruption, and urban blight. Native Son explores the social unrest created by the hard economic times and the attendant interest in radical political solutions represented by Marxists such as Jan Erlone and Boris Max.

In creating Native Son Wright drew upon his memories of nearly ten years' residence in South Side Chicago, sociological studies of Chicago compiled by Louis Wirth, and material taken directly from the highly publicized trial of a Chicago black man named Robert Nixon. Eventually convicted and electrocuted for murdering a white woman with a...

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This section contains 176 words
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Buy the Native Son Study Guide
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Native Son from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.