The Relevance of Native Son and African American Oppression Today
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My Senior Thesis aims to both analyze Richard Wright’s Native Son and compare today’s oppression for African Americans in relation to issues and themes arising in the novel. I constructed my thesis in two chapters in order to fully discuss the literature and my research. While considering including Their Eyes Were Watching God and Invisible Man, I decided to solely analyze Wright’s novel because of how it focused on the Jim Crow era, e.g., how Bigger Thomas’s court case or his impoverished lifestyle might parallel with the lives of African Americans in the modern world. Today, if African Americans choose to start a revolution and claim personhood by harming Whites because of oppression, they fulfill the lasting racist stereotypes of "uncivilized people” in the first place. Therefore, Native Son is both a reminder of an oppressive past for African Americans and a reminder to exercise a nonviolent solution towards equality in the future.