oppression to god Essay

Submitted By asiaervin13
Words: 496
Pages: 2

To fully understand the magnitude of Richard Wright’s Native Son, it is necessary to place the novel in its historical time period because the novel centers on American racial discrimination and segregation previous to the Civil Rights Movement. While discrimination remains a reality in modern American, the racial tensions and separatist laws that created violence and fear between blacks and whites might seem foreign to some students who have not experienced the segregation and the denial of basic human rights that was acceptable practice against blacks in early 20th century America. To really understand Native Son ’s theme that warns of the dangerous psychological effects of racial oppression upon humanity it is imperative that one is familiar with Jim Crow Laws and Wright’s own experiences with racial prejudice. Set in Chicago in the 1930s, the novel depicts the tribulations of Bigger Thomas, a young black man who during a moment of panic unintentionally murders a wealthy young white women as he tries to silence her with a pillow; Bigger feared the girl would expose his presence in her bedroom. He commits a second murder, that of his girlfriend Bessie, in an attempt to keep her silent about the first murder. Though the action seems extreme, Wright maintained that the scenario was a real possibility considering the era’s laws that trampled blacks’ civil liberties and mandated racial segregation through a system of social control that divided black and white Americans. Schools, restaurants and public transportation are just a few of the public amenities that were separated by color. Anyone violating the laws’ codes was subject to severe punitive action. Though not based on fact, the myths of blacks as being of an inferior and dangerous group were widely believed and perpetuated in part through negative stereotypes.Originally published in 1940 by Harper and Brothers, Native Son was a No. 1 best seller for the Book of the Month Club, making Wright the first African American to make the bestseller list. However, this was not