Native Son Essay

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1. Native Son by Richard Wright; 1940 2. At the halfway point of this book, I find myself amazed at the segregation and racism going on. Never have I read a book that has so clearly accounted for the African American’s feelings towards white people. The hate that brews inside of the African Americans is unbelievably strong, yet quite appropriate. I am enjoying trying to see the racism from the African American’s point of view, rather than the “white view” I think I have had all along. The stark contrast in living conditions between the Dalton family and the Thomas family is undeniable. Mr. Dalton says he supports African Americans and gives them money, yet he owns a real estate company that only sells houses to blacks in certain…show more content…
He returns the racist attitude presented to him by all of the white folk. He does not know how else to act. He only does what he knows how to do. He follows the white man’s example. Bigger proves, though, that he can change. He is willing to learn and to change. He proves that he can be taught, that he is not just an ignorant Negro. Jan Erlone and Boris Max helped him to see this. They encouraged Bigger to fight and to believe in himself as a human. Bigger begins to see that “whiteness” is really individual people, and racial conflicts aren’t simply “whiteness” vs. “blackness.” He gives Max more of a chance than a whole society gave him. Everyone automatically assumed that Bigger raped and murdered Mary; their minds never were really open to anything else. Bigger opened his mind. He gave white folk a chance. Max treated him like a man, a person, and Bigger was grateful for that and he let Max know that by talking to him. If only the white folk could have realized that they needed to give him a chance. Had they treated him like a human being then maybe he would have told them all they wanted to know. Bigger let Max see that the mind of a killer isn’t always the bad one. The mind of the society that wouldn’t give him the chance he gave them was the real killer. 4. (B) Bigger’s most important virtue is his intelligence. He does not let the white folk know how smart he really is. He disguises his intelligence with short, simple answers such as “Yessuh,” or “Naw.” He
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