Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Richard Wright Writings

I can't leave a library without checking out a book or four. It's too hard to resist. Usually when I enjoy a book a lot I go on to read other literature by the author. I just finished Native Son, my second book by Richard Wright. My first was Black Boy.

I didn't want to relate to Native Son's main character, Bigger, after reading the book's sleeve. Bigger's acts of assault* weren't likable nor was he particularly likable, seeming a bully from the first pages. He didn't reflect much on how he treated others nor did he seem to have the ability to analyze his behavior. But I found myself thinking about the layers Wright gave him. Thinking too about the context, the world Bigger was living in, as a black man in segregated, limited (in opportunities) Chicago of the 1930s. Wright didn't excuse Bigger's actions but through him voiced his views on racial injustice. It was a risky choice, to do this through volatile Bigger. It was a powerful read.

The next Wright book I'm tackling is The Ousider.

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