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After Reading Richard Wright

In: Novels

Submitted By yusakami2
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After reading Richard Wright’s Native Son, one has to wonder who the ultimate victim is in a prejudiced society. The dominant group or the minority? Wright focuses on the affects of racism on the oppressors (Whites) and the oppressed (Blacks) in his novel and establishes in an ethnically prejudiced society, fear and discrimination will lead to deadly consequences. Bigger’s fears of White society would lead him to accidently murder Mary Dalton, setting off a chain of events that would end with Bigger being sentenced to death for his crimes. Racism caused Bigger to have an abnormal fear of Whites and racism is the true culprit in the death of Mary Dalton.

When the topic of racism comes up, images of angry White men in hooded hats wearing white sheets, burning crosses in the yards of terrified Blacks come to mind, but it is deeper than that. According to sociologists Noel Cazenave and Darlene Alvarez Maddern, racism is defined as “...a highly organized system of ‘race’-based group privilege that operates at every level of society and its held together by a sophisticated ideology of color/’race’ supremacy. Racist systems include, but cannot be reduced, to racial bigotry”.

Racism hierarchy in America society led to the subhuman living conditions that Bigger, his family, and other Blacks experienced during the 1930s. Bigger and his family resided in a cramped, rat-infested one room apartment in the Black Belt, a poverty stricken area of Chicago. The building was dilapidated and the family literally had to fight it out with huge rats with long, yellow fangs for space. Imagine growing up in this atmosphere with little privacy for yourself and you are a male child. It would be real easy for a young man to grow up warped living like this.

When he left the house, he did not go anywhere except to the local watering hole and the movies. Blacks were not wanted in…...

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