Native Son Themes & Topics

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.
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The central theme of Native Son is the central theme of most black American writing, the duality of black existence in the United States. In particular the novel explores the stifling limitations imposed on blacks. Bigger expresses his sense of exclusion as he and his buddies stand idly on a street comer watching a plane fly overhead:

"They got things and we ain't. They do things and we can't. It's just like living in jail." As in Uncle Tom's Children, the central movement of Native Son is toward the development of self-awareness. Bigger's development is perverted by environmental pressures that make him feel that violence is his only way to self-realization.

Native Son is a psychological as well as a sociological novel, and Bigger's development is outlined by the three sections of the novel: "Fear," "Flight," and "Fate." "Fear" documents Bigger's condition, living a life of poverty and...

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This section contains 347 words
(approx. 1 page 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.