Native Son Revision

Native Son Revision - Native Son In the opening scene of...

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Native Son In the opening scene of Native Son , Richard Wright introduces his major theme. He vividly presents major symbols in the opening scene. The alarm clock, apartment setting and the rat-catching episode represent the main elements. These elements show society’s racism, the oppressive conditions that black live under, and the violent potential of Wright’ antihero, Bigger Thomas. The alarm clock is the initial element of the opening scene that conveys Wright’s attack on social racism and oppression. The ringing of the alarm clock serves as a wake-up call to American society. He observes how society ignores the oppression and discrimination exerted on blacks. He jolts society from its complacency regarding the deplorable living conditions of blacks in America. Another symbolic characteristic of the alarm clock is its foreshadowing. It prophesizes that a violent revolutionary change from the African American community is approaching unless the American public responds. The continuous oppression African Americans endure in the white-dominated society destroys any of their opportunities for social change. This racism on the impotent and enraged blacks leads them toward an inevitable violent awakening.
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It also predicts Bigger’s foreseeable epiphany or symbolic awakening. He will later realize not to let white society victimize him as he can now use society’s stereotypes as a shield to make himself unnoticed. These stereotypes allow him to trick white society into believing that this or any other African American is not capable of using his head to develop such a complex plot. In his eventual awakening, Bigger feels a sense of intoxicating empowerment. He believes that he is in complete control of himself and the situation he finds himself involved in. Another foreshadowing is Bigger’s “time bomb” personality, full of violence and rage that will eventually react as a result of white society’s racism. He has repressed all of his impotence and rage of the constant oppression of society. This inner fury and violence continues to increase as he is threatened by society’s discrimination. His fear and hatred consequently react, initially taking the life of Mary in a grotesque manner. The apartment setting described in the opening scene continues the
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Native Son Revision - Native Son In the opening scene of...

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