Native Son

Native Son

Book - 2005
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Right from the start, Bigger Thomas had been headed for jail. It could have been for assault or petty larceny; by chance, it was for murder and rape. Native Son tells the story of this young black man caught in a downward spiral after he kills a young white woman in a brief moment of panic. Set in Chicago in the 1930s, Richard Wright's novel is just as powerful today as when it was written -- in its reflection of poverty and hopelessness, and what it means to be black in America.
Publisher: New York : Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2005
Edition: 1st Perennial Classics ed
ISBN: 9780060837563
006083756X
Branch Call Number: FICTION WRIGHT 2005
Characteristics: xxii, 504, 16 p. ; 21 cm

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From Library Staff

(1940)
"Set in Chicago in the 1930's, this is the story of a young black man caught in a downward spiral after he kills a young white woman in a brief moment of panic. Wright's powerful novel is an unsparing reflection on the poverty and feelings of hopelessness experienced by people in inn... Read More »

Bigger Thomas is a poor black man living in Chicago in the 1930's. When he unexpectedly gets a job working for an affluent uptown family he is thrown into a world that is confusing and scary because he doesn't know how to respond to them or their daughter. What happens is as shocking now as i... Read More »


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emilyk5
Jun 16, 2016

In order to fully understand this book, it may be necessary to talk it out with another person. Throughout this book I was appalled at certain parts, especially with how gruesome some of the words were. The storyline was a bit slow as well, but the main message of the book was important. Additionally there were also many symbols throughout the book that were hidden under the surface that were hard to interpret. As a result, I think talking about the book is crucial to one's full understanding. Most importantly, I found Max's speech at the end of the book chilling, and his words vital for humanity.

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sonoraanne
Sep 03, 2015

Didn't finish. Read about 2/3. Had trouble suspending disbelief -- Bigger was too smart to have made some of the criminal mistakes he made.

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Al6Hameed
Aug 10, 2015

Richard Wright's portrayal of his main character is mesmerizing. It reveals the truth about our society both then and now. Even though this is a work of fiction the characters are real. They exist today! This is a must read for those who want to understand the blacks of the 1940's and the reasons why some lashed out as a result of being marginalized. Only a genius can touch one's psyche as Wright has done.

hbrown10011 Jul 24, 2015

Despite what all the hoopla and racial politics surrounding Richard Wright in general and "Native Son" in particular, this book is an absolute page-turner and I could not put it down.

Richard Wright is brilliant! "Native Son" is sensational!

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ShirleyRDavis
Jun 28, 2014

Bigger Thomas as the central character of this novel is extremely vivid, realistic. I have seen versions of him on the news. I have met elementary school versions of him in school. I struggled reading this book due to the violence, seemingly senseless violence. Avoidable violence. The author embeds possible reasons why as the story unfolds. Although Native Son is a novel, it has much to say about society in the U.S., race relations and the value of individual life. I found the Afterward-"How Bigger Was Born" by Richard Wright and the author's Chronology to be a great supplement to the novel. In my opinion this book should not be banned, but should be reserved for a senior high school or above audience.

This book was good. It was a little slow in the beginning but pulled through. There are still a few things I don't understand, like: why Bigger killed Mary Dalton in the first place. Her mother was blind, and she was drunk. In the book it states Mrs. Dalton could smell whiskey on her daughter. Why would she believe anything Mary said? Some of this book didn't make any sense.

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starrymela
Dec 20, 2011

This book has stayed with me and occasionally haunted my thoughts even more than those that I call, "My favorites." I doubt if any other book will impact me in my life the way this one did.

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Al6Hameed
Aug 10, 2015

Al6Hameed thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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IQIncorporated
Jan 10, 2015

IQIncorporated thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

BrooklynFencingGirl13 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 06, 2016

Men can starve from a lack of self-realization as much as they can from a lack of bread.

"There was no chance of his getting that money now. They had found Mary and would stop at nothing to get the one who killed her."

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