A critical review of native son
In 1927, Wright moved to Chicago after the peak of the Harlem Renaissance (a pivotal time for African Americans to express themselves through music, writings, and art). In Chicago, he worked as a postal worker, but was laid off with the depression. Wright then joined the Federal Writers Project, a state sponsored guild for authors, in which Wright composed his first novel, Uncle Tom's Children. During this time, Wright joined the Communist party, which was often carried out into his writings. By 1939, Wright had moved to New York City and kept ties with the party for only a few more years. He married in 1941, and had left the communist party by 1944.
During World War II, Wright lectured around New York. With the end of the War, Wright moved to France in 1947 where he continued to write his novels, which often contained themes of racism, poverty, and political matters. His books were often partly based on his life and what he had observed in his lifetime. Wright was the first African American author to be featured in the "Book of the Month Club" for his novel Native Son. In 1995, all of Wright's books were reissued in 1995 in their original context after being censored by publishers for the explicit nature of his novels (which contained themes of sexual, Communist, and racial content). However, Wright was unable to see the reissued books, for Wright was laid to rest in 1960.
Although the Harlem Renaissance had taken place nearly two decades before, it is a nessicary factor in Richard Wright's writing. The Harlem Renaissance helped encourage Wright to begin writing despite the way society attempted to hold him and other African Americans back. As more African American produced literature, it became accepted in all levels of society, thus enabling Wright to get the fame from his novels that he holds.Writing about family live in Chicago in the 1930s, Wright captured the time period's cynicism and despair as the depression waged on.
During this time of economic depression, the Communist party attempted to gain power to show that if all levels of society were balanced, then we could reach out of the depression. Wright was intrigued by the Communist party and eventually became a member, which is displayed in his writings. Also displayed were the segregation and racism of the time. Wright writes with a style that easily places you in the time period, so that an adolescent girl from the 21st century could picture herself in a world torn by prejudice, unemployment, and the mindsets of the people who lived it every day.
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