Poverty and Literature

Spring 2018



Essay Assignment on Richard Wright’s Native Son


This essay is due on due on Wednesday, April 4th at 3:30 p.m.


Explain Richard Wright’s political purpose in his characterization of Bigger Thomas and in the action of Native Son.


How does Wright justify his assertion that racism is the defining force determining the situation of blacks in mid-century America? To what extent does Wright hold Bigger responsible for his actions? What kind of intervention does he believe would be necessary to reach and save young people like Bigger Thomas?


If you wish, allow the voices of Hilfiker, Coates and Vance to join the debate.