Determinism in Native Son

Topics: Black people, White people, Sociology Pages: 2 (665 words) Published: October 8, 1999
"Today Bigger Thomas and that mob are strangers, yet they hate. They hate because they fear, and they fear because they feel that the deepest feelings of their lives are being assaulted and outraged. And they do not know why; they are powerless pawns in a blind play of social forces."This passage epitomizes for Richard Wright, the most radical effects of criminal racial situation in America (in the 19th century.) However, perhaps the most important role of this passage is the way in which it embodies Wright's overall philosophy of Naturalism or Social Realism. The naturalist perspective in the passage is evident through the use of passage also echoes one of the most crucial features of Naturalism. This passage contains The passage also echoes one of the most crucial features of Dterminism. namely fear, hate and mob mentality.In a critical analysis of this passage there are many single phrases to dissect. One such phrase is, "They hate...." The hatred that is felt by the white mob is a product of their guilt. It is the guilt like that of Mr. Dalton that is so strong that he tries to "undo it in a manner as naïve as dropping a penny in a blind man's cup." Wright further speaks of this guilt when Max states, "The Thomas family got poor and the Dalton family got rich. And Mr. Dalton, a decent man, tried to salve his feelings by giving money. But, my friend, gold was not enough! Corpses cannot be bribed! Say to yourself Mr. Dalton, 'I offered my daughter as a burnt sacrifice and it was not enough to push back into it's grave this thing that haunts me.'" This statement embodies the very core of social reality of the time, and in essence, Social Realism."They fear...." What fear is Wright speaking of? Wright speaks of the fear that both the blacks and the whites feel. Bigger's fear and hate is a direct result of the way he sees society. Bigger sees in a garish light the failure of his society. He sees it's cultural and political...
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