The Book Native Son By Richard Wright

Decent Essays

The book Native Son by Richard Wright is about the inner and external struggles of Bigger Thomas in a hostile and limited living environment. Bigger Thomas is a black man that lives in a de facto segregated neighborhood in Chicago. His entire family of four lives in one rat infested and over priced room. It is challenging to imagine a route to success. Perhaps this setting could inspire thoughts of the American Dream -- commonly defined as the ability of a person from any circumstance to go on to live and prosper through their choices. Therefore, self determination will be the first exploration of the essay. Next there will be a discussion on how Bigger Thomas changes throughout the book and ultimately fits into this ideal. Why is self determination one of the most important American Ideals? The basis of this proposition relies on equal application of basic human rights. It is often taken for granted that certain rights such as freedom, equality and education are necessary for the American Dream to function. Optimistically, these are constant for all citizens. Thus the self determined choices made within this system are the keys to success within America. What is self determination? The word “self” conjures the image of a unified entity and determination is the ability to freely navigate and have an effect on an environment. In the first fifty pages of the book, the case could be made that Bigger Thomas is neither a unified entity nor has free navigation within his

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