Writing Techniques in Native Son

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In Native Son, Wright uses the same combination of direct, naturalistic prose and symbolism that he employed in Uncle Tom's Children. He carefully reconstructs the physical reality of South Side Chicago, using material gathered from sociological studies as well as his own experience. He then skillfully invests objects with symbolic significance, a technique that helps him overcome the linguistic limitations of his inarticulate protagonist.

But the most striking characteristic of Wright's method in Native Son is the stylistic shift in the last third of the novel. "Fear" and "Flight" are driven by violent, fast-paced action and terse, concrete prose that has been called some of the best suspense writing in American literature, but "Fate" is static, and Wright's prose moves toward the formality of exposition. This final section is often openly propagandistic, as Wright uses Boris Max to articulate the theoretical basis for Bigger's rebellion. In effect, "Fate" is...

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This section contains 166 words
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Buy the Native Son Study Guide
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