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Native Son (Perennial Classics) ebook

by Arnold Rampersad,Richard Wright

It was about half way through "Native Son" that I realized I hadn't actually read the entire book

It was about half way through "Native Son" that I realized I hadn't actually read the entire book.

Native Son. Richard Wright. With an Introduction by Arnold Rampersad. The Restored Text Established by the Library of America. The sound of the alarm that opens Native Son was Richard Wright’s urgent call in 1940 to America to awaken from its self-induced slumber about the reality of race relations in the nation. As proud, rich, and powerful as America was, Wright insisted, the nation was facing a grave danger, one that would ultimately destroy the United States if its dimensions and devious complexity were not recognized. With an Introduction by Arnold Rampersad That next book was Native Son. As Wright later recalled, when he started to write the story of Bigger Thomas, the basic story flowed almost without an effort. That next book was Native Son. In a real sense, he had been studying Bigger Thomas all of his life.

Richard Wright won international renown for his powerful and visceral .

Richard Wright won international renown for his powerful and visceral depiction of the black experience. He stands today alongside such African-American luminaries as Zora Neale Hurston, James Baldwin, and Toni Morrison, and two of his novels, Native Son and Black Boy, are required reading in high schools and colleges across the nation. Native Son Harper Perennial modern classics Harper Perennial Modern Classics Modern library of the world's best books Perennial Classics. Arnold Rampersad, Haddon Craftsmen, Inc, Library of America (Firm). Издание: перепечатанное, переиздание.

Arnold Rampersad (born 13 November 1941) is a biographer and literary critic, who was born in Trinidad and Tobago and moved to the US in 1965. The first volume (1986) of his Life of Langston Hughes was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and his Ralph Ellison: A Biography was a finalist for the 2007 National Book Award. Also an academic, Rampersad is currently Professor of English and the Sara Hart Kimball Professor in the Humanities at Stanford University

Reading the first two parts of "Native Son," Richard Wright's landmark novel is an absolute thrill.

Right from the start, Bigger Thomas had been headed for jail. Published August 2nd 2005 by Harper Perennial Modern Classics (first published 1940). Reading the first two parts of "Native Son," Richard Wright's landmark novel is an absolute thrill. One part Tom Ripley, one part Graham Greene's "Brighton Rock," the antihero reigns triumphant. all the character traits of a true villain. While I could never write a book on the racism of America like Native Son and though Wright is undoubtedly a much better than I am, the 30-page preface tells me that Wright may have an inflated sense of his own importance. He paints himself out to be a genius for having come up with such an original character/concept as Bigger, even though one would assume that stereotypes would have to addressed in a book regarding race relations.

Native Son (Perennial Classics). Get started today for free. By College By High School By Country.

I first read "Native Son" as a teen some 20+ years ago. It was after reading "Black Boy" that I decided to reread "Native Son". It was about half way through "Native Son" that I realized I hadn't actually read the entire book. In fact, I only read about a quarter of it!! For years I thought I'd read "Native Son" because I convinced myself I had (possibly because, in my youth, having read more than 100 pages of a book constituted "reading" the book for me). I can only think that I claimed to have read it to appease my mother or a teacher and I claimed it so long that I began to believe it!!

The reviews here on this site are plenty to give you an idea of its depth and excellence. My review is about the contrast between my teen reading and my adult reading.

I remember believing that the main character, Bigger Thomas, was brilliant. An ordinary young Black man had gone into the White World, committed an unspeakable crime and gotten away with it by acting like and ordinary young Black man (or so I saw it). That is to say: I thought Bigger's humble, deferential, monosyllabic speech towards White people was all an act. I thought he purposely turned on such an act to allow him to get away with things that they figured were not within his capabilities or his skill set. I thought Bigger was absolutely brilliant. A marionette pulling the strings of White America based upon their prejudices and preconceived notions.

Fast-forward 20+ years and I see Bigger through different eyes (partially because I've read the entire book and partially because my comprehension has evolved and developed). At times he was brilliant and at times he was stone cold stupid. At times he would use the shuffling negro act to his advantage and at other times he would let his ego push him too far. It was all part of the enigma that was Bigger Thomas.

Wright created a helluva character. As an African-American male I was reading about Bigger and loathing him with every fiber of my being because he was the poorest representation of Black men. I couldn't help but think, "This Bigger Thomas is confirming the wicked stuff that White people believe about us! He's a walking affirmation of their stereotypes!" But the fact is... Bigger Thomases exist. They are largely products of their environments. We may not like them, we may have the foulest names to describe them, but they still exist. So, whereas I hated Bigger for the decisions he made and the life he lived, I can't say that Richard Wright didn't give me a jolt. He threw Bigger Thomas in our faces and said, "deal with him." I'm sure every reader deals with Bigger in his/her own way. Some may hate him as I did, some may pity him, some may applaud him and much of that may divide down racial lines or socio-economic lines; in any case we as readers had to deal with Bigger Thomas.
Wow! In some ways this reminded me of Camus’ The Stranger.

Wright paints a chilling picture of a young man who, because he’s been unable to determine his own identity and destiny, he’s filled with rage and a quest for action to bring meaning into his life.

When he kills, even accidentally, he finds meaning. He DID something. It mattered.

This novel does more to explain Langston Hughes poem and meaning behind it than anything else I’ve read. (What happens to a raisin in the sun?)

Bigger is the tragic consequence of humanity ignored. Humanity oppressed. But I think compressed is a better word. When people are made to be small... they will either die or explode.

This novel is a must read I think.
This classic cautionary tale is a tense, graphic read that gives insights into the race issue in the US in the 1930s and the damage it does to both whites and blacks. It also gives important context to the ongoing race issues in that country: a historically toxic, inequitable, violent and oppressive society produces toxic, paranoid, violent people, whatever the basis for the oppression, be it race, class, ethnicity, religion or anything else.

Quite apart from all the sociological and psychological insights, the novel itself is a gripping ride that just does not let up on the tension until the court scene, the long speeches and the epiphanies of the protagonist near the end that slow things down somewhat.

Overall, a worthy read.
Native Son is truly an eye-opener to the extreme effects of racism in the early 1900’s. Although slavery ended long before this book was written, racism did not. Even nowadays, many people believe that along with slavery, discrimination and prejudice ended along with it. Richard Wright’s novel uncovers the truth behind the life of a black person in 1930 Chicago.
All throughout the novel, the word “blind” is used several times. Mrs. Dalton is literally blind, but almost everyone is figuratively blind. They are so caught up in their own daily struggles that they are blind to the rest of the world around them. When Bigger is eating breakfast with his family the day after he kills Mary, he ponders on the thought that “…a lot of people were like Mrs. Dalton, blind…” (Wright 107). He first notices the blindness in his little brother, Buddy, but quickly sees it in his mother and sister as well. None of these people are actually blind, but blind to the world around them. They all lived in a cycle, and nothing but the cycle mattered to them. This blindness comes into play again when Mary says that she wants to know how black people live. She thinks that black people “…must live like we live. They’re human.” (Wright 70). Mary is so blind to the fact that black people live in a hellhole while she lives in a mansion. She cannot put herself in the shoes of black people since she has never even seen it.
Native Son also emphasizes the idea that generalization of a race leads to terrible consequences. The white race in the book generalized black people as being apes and non-human creatures. The black race on the other hand thought of the white people as being arrogant, filthy rich, and prejudiced jerks. Neither of these was correct at all. A white man that contradicts this prejudice is Boris Max, and a black man that contradicts his prejudice is Bigger. Bigger is not a terrifying ape; he is a man that killed on accident and experienced hardships because of disgusting white people. Generalizations are rarely correct, and Richard Wright proves that in his book.
This novel truly gives an insider’s view on what racism actually is. Racism is not only about lynchings and violent murders. It is about prejudice and how it destroys a society. Native Son could not be a more perfect example of racism and its effects.
Native Son (Perennial Classics) ebook
Arnold Rampersad,Richard Wright
EPUB size:
1976 kb
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1384 kb
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1694 kb
Paw Prints 2008-05-29; Reprint edition (May 29, 2008)
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