Native Son - Conflicts

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Many times in novels, authors will use conflicts to strengthen the plot and to give more depth to the story that they are penning. There are four main plot conflicts that authors have to choose from: man versus nature, man versus society, man versus man, and finally, man versus self. Authors, many times, will use only one or two of these conflicts but in the novel, Native Son, all four conflicts are used to some extent. In this novel, Richard Wright, does a superb job of meticulously blending all four conflicts together to form a well-rounded novel about a black man in 1920 's Chicago. "The icy water clutched again at his body like a giant hand; the chill of it squeezed him like the circling coils of a monstrous boa consrictor."(268)…show more content…
Throughout the whole novel Bigger had felt cornered and intimidated by the white man and who they were. However, this man was different from the others. He treated Bigger as a normal human being, not as a downtrodden person or a murderer, just a normal human being. This is the only instince in which this happens in the whole novel. Wright used it primarily to show that he himself did not feel as if all whites were bad but that because of stereotyping, many were. Wright goes out of his way to show that this man was not under the inlfluence of stereotyping and to show the decent side of some whites. Throughout his life, Bigger, had been bound by the stereotyping of a whole society. The man versus society conflict in this novel is what this book is focused around.. Bigger is constantly intimidated by the white man and what they stand for. He is content in his efforts to rebell against they 're castes. "Let 's play ‘white, ' Bigger said, referring to a game of play actingin which he and his friends imitated the ways and manners of white folks." During this scene Bigger plays the President who is ordering a cabinent meeting. "What are you going to take up at this cabinent meeting?" Gus asked. "Well you see, the niggers is raising sand all over the country," Bigger said, struggling to keep back his laughter. "We 've got to do something with these black folks..." "Oh, if it 's about the niggers, I 'll be right there, Mr. President," Gus said.
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