Native Son | Study Guide

Richard Wright

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Native Son | Book Summaries

See Book Summaries Chart

Timeline of Events

Book Summaries Chart

Book Summary
Fear, Book 1 (Home to Street) The Thomas family awakens to the sound of an alarm clock in their one-room apartment. As the family dresses for the day,... Read More
Fear, Book 1 (Street to Pool Room) Bigger meets his friend Gus in the street, and the two smoke together while watching a plane skywrite above their heads.... Read More
Fear, Book 1 (Theater) To pass time before the robbery, Jack and Bigger go to see a movie. Once in the theater, but before the film starts, Jac... Read More
Fear, Book 1 (Interview with the Daltons) Bigger notices he still has his gun tucked inside his shirt, and he decides to take it with him to meet Mr. Dalton becau... Read More
Fear, Book 1 (Out with Mary and Jan) Bigger is supposed to take Mary to the university, but Mary convinces him to pick up her boyfriend, Jan, instead. Mary's... Read More
Fear, Book 1 (Mary's Bedroom and the Basement) Once Mary and Bigger arrive at the mansion, it becomes clear that Mary is too drunk to get to her room without waking th... Read More
Flight, Book 2 (With the Family) Bigger awakens in his apartment and remembers the events of the night before. He sees Mary's purse on a chair and rushes... Read More
Flight, Book 2 (Daltons' Masion, Bessie's Place) Bigger returns to the Daltons' house, and Peggy tells him Mary has not come downstairs. She asks why the car is in the d... Read More
Flight, Book 2 (Britten's Questions) Bigger's first task after he returns to the Daltons' is to collect Mary's trunk from the station, because she never clai... Read More
Flight, Book 2 (Ransom, Reporters, and Escape) The Daltons quickly discover the note under the front door. Britten, suspicious of Bigger, returns to question Peggy abo... Read More
Flight, Book 2 (On the Run with Bessie) Bigger tells Bessie that the ransom plan is off. He explains how he killed Mary by accident and how he disposed of her b... Read More
Flight, Book 2 (Evasion and Capture) The following day Bigger is on the move through the neighborhood. He tracks the manhunt for him by checking the newspape... Read More
Fate, Book 3 (Bigger in Jail and Confession) For the first several days in custody, Bigger refuses to speak or eat. He collapses when he is brought to the inquest an... Read More
Fate, Book 3 (Inquest and After) Bigger returns to the inquest, navigating through a mob hurling insults at him. One of the mob's participants hits him o... Read More
Fate, Book 3 (Conversation with Max) A guard brings Bigger a meal and a newspaper that includes more hostile coverage of the inquest. A struggle in a nearby ... Read More
Fate, Book 3 (The Trial and Max's Defense) As planned, Max enters a guilty plea at the trial and wants to show how Bigger's background has contributed to his crime... Read More
Fate, Book 3 (Buckley's Closing and Sentence) After the recess Buckley presents his closing argument and urges for the death penalty. He recounts Bigger's crimes in l... Read More
Fate, Book 3 (Before the Execution) Bigger eats and sleeps little as he awaits the carrying out of his sentence. When his family comes to visit, he sends th... Read More
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