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Wright's Native Son as Communist Manifesto?
Was Richard Wright's Native Son a story about his views towards
Capitalism and Communism ? Did Richard Wright want to show the good and bad
points towards Capitalism and Communism ? Or was this novel just about how
a young man went through life and how society made him. Richard Wright's
Native Son shows that he used the Dalton's, Thomas's, and Jan Erlone to
represent Capitalism and Communism .
After reading Richard Wright's Native Son, many believe the author
purposely placed the Thomas family in a small, run-down home . The book
shows this right from the start . Bigger and his family had to sleep in the
same room, and big rats were running around the house . This shows the
Thomas family represented the lower class, a trademark of Capitalism . I
could not even imagine living there, especially with that huge rat .The
house must have been very dirty and disgusting by today's standards . The
author wanted to show how some families live under these severe conditions.
He made us see vividly how they lived with this quote . "A huge black rat
squealed and leaped at Bigger's trouser-leg and snagged it in his teeth,
hanging on." This showed how broke they were by showing that there were
giant rats living with them and how it had no fear of them .
Richard Wright did not just not just want to show the con sides to
Capitalism, he also wanted to prove the Capitalism has its good sides to it
also . For instance, Richard Wright purposely placed the Daltons in a
spectacular house and made them very rich and famous . Another trademark of
Capitalism, the upper class. The author showed how some of the Capitalist
folks lived . The upper class is very wealthy and basically gets what they
want . Mr. and Mrs. Dalton had it made. They had chauffeurs, a huge house,
and cars . They had too much money . They were giving away things to the
needy, though they were giving away useless things to the needy like Ping-
Pong tables. Richard Wright wanted to show that the upper class were afraid
of the blacks . Not afraid of their individual physical strength, but
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afraid if they gained too much power. The upper class had the power and
they did not want anything or anyone to take some of it away . The author
also wanted to prove another point here also . How the rich take advantage
of the poor . Mr. Dalton was in the real estate business . He sold
overpriced apartments in a bad area to the poor . Wright was trying to show
that the rich were getting richer, by rent the blacks paid, and the poor
were getting poorer, by paying the rent .
On the Communist side, Richard Wright used Jan Erlone to show some
aspects about Communism . A good example of this is when Jan first meets
him and tries to make him feel like he was equal to him . The trademark of
Communism, equality . Like in this quote "Jan smiled broadly, then extended
his an open palm toward him." He wanted to show that Communist try to make
everyone equal . Jan did not want there to be a black-white relationship.
He wanted Bigger to feel like he was Jan's equal.
Mr. Wright was not trying to condone nor condemn Capitalist or
Communist. He was just showing what he saw through his eyes of the two
types of government .