Important People in Notes of a Native Son

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Harriet Beecher Stowe

Stowe was the author of the 19th century abolitionist novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which Baldwin criticizes as an example of the superficial genre of “protest literature.” The black characters in Stowe’s novel, Baldwin says, are stereotypes and legends.

Richard Wright

Richard Wright was the author of the novel Native Son, which tells the story of Bigger Thomas, an African American who becomes a criminal monster because of the hostility and brutality he experiences. Bigger is supposed to represent every African American. Baldwin criticizes Wright for his fatalism and his inability to transcend the white legend of the American black man.

David Baldwin

David Baldwin is James Baldwin’s father. He is a preacher and an embittered man. The essay “Notes of a Native Son” is a reflection on Baldwin’s relationship with his father. He is described as a cold and distant man...

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This section contains 294 words
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