Summary of “Social Demarcation and the Forms of Psychological Fracture in Book One of Richard Wright’s Native Son”

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Summary of “Social Demarcation and the Forms of Psychological Fracture in Book One of Richard Wright’s Native Son” Matthew Elder says that in Wright’s insight in Native Son defines the psychological and sociological problems that damage African-Americans in a world that “whites work to maintain and blacks are forced to accept” (31). Book one, “Fear”, in the novel Native Son by Richard Wright takes the reader through the rough life of Bigger, an African-American trying to make it in a white world. The actions and mental state of Bigger in the first book play a large part in determining his fate. Bigger’s psychological state is influenced by the social fractionalization displayed within the novel. Bigger’s actions and thoughts were driven by a fear that was established by psychological and sociological damage. From the beginning of the novel the reader is aware of the relationship between the whites and the blacks. The first scene to show the damaged psychology of Bigger and all African Americans is when Bigger and his black friend Gus act as though they were white. They pretend they are white people in different situations and take turns becoming the “leader”. This scene is crucial in showing how obvious the social fractures are and the damage it has caused to African American sociology. Bigger and his African American friends are in a constant state of terror or fear. Acting out scenes like this one helps them cope with the racial oppression. Being among friends who are going through the same problems allows them to feel more secure and less likely to be fearful of the world around them. Bigger’s mindset is terribly unstable, causing him to have a drastic change in identity when confronted with fear. The reader is first introduced to Bigger’s alternate identity in the scene where Bigger attacks Gus. Bigger is supposed to go through with a plan that

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