Symbolism In Native Son

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Native Son was written in 1940 by African American author Richard Wright. The novel tells the story of twenty year old Bigger Thomas, an African American male living in Chicago’s South Side poverty stricken community during the 1930’s. Native Son focuses on the racial oppression forced on blacks by whites and the effects it has on society and the theories of people, especially Bigger Thomas. The theme has caused the book to be labeled as a “protest novel” by other authors because of its aim at the injustice in society during the time era of the setting and in which it was actually published. Nonetheless, Wright’s use of symbols, motifs, and historical references aid in developing the groundbreaking plot and meaning of the story. Richard …show more content…
Bigger’s mother is a very religious individual but Bigger does not feel it is necessary. This is depicted in Book One.” His mother’s voice floated him in song. The song irked him and he was glad when she stopped...” (9) When Bigger is arrested, Reverend Hammond gives him a cross. Bigger now compares himself to Christ. He feels he is sacrificing to wash away the embarrassment of blacks, like Christ died to wash away our sins. Bigger’s opinion on religion abruptly changes when he sees the image of a burning cross. “It gripped him: that was not the cross of Christ but the cross of the Ku Klux Klan. He had the cross round his throat and they were burning one to tell him they hated him!” (391) This is an illustration racism now even tainting religion. Bigger blames the preacher for “trapping” and betraying him. The title Native Son is a contradiction to the society of America. Bigger was born in the United States and has grown to be a young adult in the United States. He is native to this country. The negative image that is depicted of him in the novel is because of America. America’s society, culture, and restrictions have shaped him into the person he is and has become. The reason for his drastic downfall is America because, after all, he is a “native …show more content…
He has to fight against racial oppression and the superior of whites. Unfortunately, he loses his battle. The theme of Native Son shines an important light on the possible effects of society’s mistreatment based on skin color. Richard Wright elucidated the ramification of native oppression that crippled the American Society. Eliminating the problem, which seems to be Bigger Thomas, is not just. The cause and root of the problem must be abolished, that is the mistreatment, restriction and manipulation of African

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