Essay about Analysis Of The Poem ' The Declaration ' By Richard Wright

763 Words Sep 29th, 2016 4 Pages
Perpetuation of Stereotypes in Native Son Richard Wright sought to write the definitive ‘protest novel’ that symbolized the struggle of African American’s in pre-1940s America. He uses the main character, Bigger Thomas, to show the hardship and uneasiness felt by African Americans, and how these factors played into the preconceived notions already held by the white population. However, his attempt to magnify these stereotypes only reenforced these ideals. In comparing Wright’s protest novel to similar works during that time period, Ayana Mathis states that, “Unlike Bigger Thomas, they are robust and nuanced characters — not caricatures endlessly acting out the pathologies of race.” These traits displayed by Bigger; such as violence, untrustworthiness and fear, highlight the problem, without offering any hope of a solution.

Throughout the first part of Native Son, Bigger constantly struggles with how to handle his emotions. He is quick to anger, almost always progressing to violence, and fails to comprehend his actions in retrospect. This fear resonates in every aspect of his life and leads to violent overreactions. It is first highlighted when Bigger starts to become hesitant about his gangs planned robbery. Instead of admitting this fear, he projects it onto the rest of the group. When meeting Mr. Dalton, Bigger thinks to himself that he wants to, “wave his hand and blot out the white man who was making him feel this way” (Wright 72). This emotion comes from fear, not…

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