Book Review: Native Son by Richard Wright

nativesonNative Son is a novel written by Richard Wright in 1940, which explores the question of nature vs. nurture from a racial perspective. The main character, Bigger, is a young black man experiencing the us vs. them world of the 1940s. He resents that he doesn’t have the same opportunities as white boys his age. Eventually, a series of mistakes leads to his unintentional murder of a wealthy white girl. The latter half of this book is his trial. The lawyers argue: were Bigger’s criminal acts his own, or the product of a society that forces his race into the roles expected of them? A thought-provoking and haunting piece of African American literature.