Wright's use of the naturalistic form is inevitable under the circumstances. He must maintain an objective voice for his white readers. At the same time, he must write about what is most familiar and painful to blacks. There is never any question that he will tell the truth and that his words will have passion behind them. It would not be possible to have it otherwise. In his novels, Wright enlarged upon the themes he discovered in his own life. But fiction never has the same authority as autobiography because art, by its very nature, is devious; an author creates personality types and manipulates them for a certain preconceived result. Autobiography has the revolutionary value of "telling it like it is." At the time that he wrote Black Boy, Wright was immersed in Marxist ideology and Communist party activities. In an article he published in
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