Essay on Native Son By Richard Wright

1223 Words Nov 6th, 2014 5 Pages
On March 1st, 1940, Richard Wright’s first novel “Native Son” was published. For historians today, Wright’s novel marked the beginning of the literature that directly engaged with racial tension. He was titled the “father of African American Literature”, and published a short essay titled “Blueprint for Negro Writing” exercising his new-found authority, in which he directs black writers in the craft and responsibility of dealing with race issues within writing. He believes that the Negro writer is obligated to have “…every first rate novel, poem or play [lift] the level of consciousness [of the reader] higher.” For example, Native Son is an instrument of social awareness, and takes interest in the relationship between society and culture.
In the wake of Wright’s success, James Baldwin begins his own journey as an author of African American literature. But their ideals diverged in how to approach the nature of Negro writing. Baldwin challenges Wright by asking; what of the black male interior? Additionally, what of those who do not fight into Wright’s narrative? Specifically, topics of gender and sexuality are lost in Wright’s fiction. Using Go Tell it on the Mountain, Baldwin gives readers an alternative experience—he gives voice to women in love, women in ¬¬¬¬turmoil, and to young boys who have yet to discover who they are. In short, Baldwin gives readers options, using his family’s experience as a guide.
It is a well-known fact that Go Tell it on the Mountain is…

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