Notes of a Native Son Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 46 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Notes of a Native Son.
This section contains 840 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Notes of a Native Son Study Guide

Aesthetic concerns unify the essays of the first part of the book. Baldwin asserts repeatedly the role of the artist is not to champion a social cause or represent an entire group, but rather to describe his own experience. This does not mean all artists are supposed to write memoirs, but all true works of art must emerge from an artist’s honest look at his own experience. Baldwin criticizes Harriet Beecher Stowe, Richard Wright, and Otto Preminger for failing to do this. Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Native Son, and the film Carmen Jones are not great works of art because they do not emerge from the singularity of personal experience. In attempting to capture something outside of their experience, these three artists remain trapped in the superficialities and lies of American culture. Baldwin, like another famous essayist, Ralph Waldo Emerson, is saying that only...

(read more from the Themes section)

This section contains 840 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Notes of a Native Son Study Guide
Copyrights
BookRags
Notes of a Native Son from BookRags. (c)2014 BookRags, Inc. All rights reserved.