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Un enfant du pays

par Richard Wright

Autres auteurs: Voir la section autres auteur(e)s.

MembresCritiquesPopularitéÉvaluation moyenneMentions
7,7031001,161 (3.95)337
Right from the start, Bigger Thomas had been headed for jail. It could have been for assault or petty larceny; by chance, it was for murder and rape. Native Son tells the story of this young black man caught in a downward spiral after he kills a young white woman in a brief moment of panic. Set in Chicago in the 1930s, Richard Wright's novel is just as powerful today as when it was written -- in its reflection of poverty and hopelessness, and what it means to be black in America.… (plus d'informations)
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    Makes Me Wanna Holler: A Young Black Man in America par Nathan McCall (owen1218)
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    Crime et Châtiment par Fyodor Dostoevsky (Ghost_Boy)
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    Effacement par Percival Everett (susanbooks)
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    L'orange mécanique par Anthony Burgess (Sammelsurium)
    Sammelsurium: Both of these classic novels sympathetically portray main characters who commit horrific crimes and thereafter suffer under flawed criminal justice systems. They are written from quite different perspectives, but focus on similar themes of criminal responsibility and reform.… (plus d'informations)
1940s (21)
AP Lit (237)
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» Voir aussi les 337 mentions

Affichage de 1-5 de 100 (suivant | tout afficher)
well DAMN. ( )
  deborahee | Feb 23, 2024 |
A young sociopath kills a white woman he barely knows, by accident, dismembers her and burns her body, then rapes and kills his own girlfriend. He is hunted down and captured, pleads guilty and goes to trial for the murder of the white woman. The man's race is used as a convenient explanation for his crimes, while his case is picked up by various people with their own agendas as a tool for their use. The fact that Wright is drawing on his own experiences as a Black man during the depression makes this book stronger, but the trial and justice system stuff in the third part is tedious and needed more editing. It seems pretty obvious that the boy Bigger is supposed to be assumed to have been pushed by racism to become a violent criminal, even though he has friends and family who are not killers and rapists despite living in the same environment. He seems to feel no remorse for his crimes. While the fact that his rape and murder of his girlfriend seems less important to the white people involved in the case, Bigger doesn't even seem to think about Bessie as a human being, just something that got in the way and needed to be discarded.
As far as social commentary, though, this book does show a good argument for the importance of education and economic equity. The fact that Bigger and his friends and family are so poorly educated makes them more vulnerable to mistreatment by people with more education, and their lack of education makes it harder for them to make good decisions that improve their lives. Another interesting argument from this story would be the importance of purpose in men's lives. The poor women in this story, with the responsibilities on their shoulders to keep themselves and their households functional, seem less inclined to resort to stupid criminal acts with high risks. The one truly irresponsible woman in this book, Mary, is living a pampered life similar to Bigger's, in that any mistakes she makes are dealt with by her parents or other responsible adults. Both Mary and Bigger can continue to act immature and irresponsible, at least until Bigger murders Mary and thus creates consequences even his mother and Bessie can't rescue him from. ( )
  JBarringer | Dec 15, 2023 |
I read this for this year's Book Riot Read Harder Challenge.
This was my entry for "Read a classic by an author of color." I highly recommend it. I'm also studying the performance of justice in fiction and how it's skewed along color lines. Native Son definitely digs deep into that. ( )
  beckyrenner | Aug 3, 2023 |
I don't have any qualms calling this a masterpiece, despite the rough start I had with it.

Honestly, this book is reminiscent of so many books that I absolutely love. It's similar to Dostoyevksi and Kafka in the sense of wallowing in anxious misery and self loathing (I'm a sucker for a good story about anxious misery and self loathing). Similar to Invisible Man for it's examination of the racial divide and themes of black identity. Similar to to The Stranger, for it's plot and structure.

It is a brilliant critique on the racial divide in America. Excellently paced. Despite the dense themes, and unsympathetic protagonist, this book was an engaging page turner, and kept me on the edge of my seat. I'm not ashamed to admit I lost sleep over it a few nights, with empathetic anxiety.

I'd recommend it to anyone, with the caveat that the first 30 or so pages are a bit rough, but push through. ( )
  Andjhostet | Jul 4, 2023 |
(34) My zeal for classic fiction has waned, but I still endeavor to be well-read and tackle several works of literature deemed to be influential, and/or highly regarded every year. My social justice lens has become cracked and soiled as of late so I am doing my best to read or re-read work by black authors. I realize that while I have read many novels by Toni Morrison and Alice Walker, I have virtually read nothing by black male writers. So, 'Native Son,' a gripping tale of a poor black boy from the the Deep South transplanted to the slums of South Side Chicago - Bigger Thomas. He gets a job as a chauffeur for a do-good rich white family... and let's just say, it doesn't end well.

The beginning of the book is horrifying and burned in my brain. Aah! The furnace. The hatchet. Why? Oh God.. it is tragic. The scene with he and Bessie in the abandoned tenement and the raging blizzard outside was equally as dramatic. His icy travails over the rooftops of Chicago. I couldn't put the novel down for quite sometime. But after Bigger got arrested the book went downhill. I feel that Wright then began to explain ad nauseam using unrealistic scenes such as having everyone he ever knew in his life visit him in jail at the same time; and loong speeches by his lawyer Max. The book became a chore and less convincing. I could feel why Bigger behaved as he did, not sure I needed to be told. His writing for the first half of the novel spoke for itself.

I hated it for Bigger. He never had a chance. And I get that plenty of people grow up with even worse adversity and make something of their lives. Not everyone would choose to do what he did. But still. You can see it in the eyes of inner city black boys and rural white ones that get a shitty education surrounded by embittered adults who live shitty little lives - boredom, hopelessness, rage. A worthy read that is one half gripping, one half slog. ( )
  jhowell | Jun 30, 2023 |
Affichage de 1-5 de 100 (suivant | tout afficher)

» Ajouter d'autres auteur(e)s (13 possibles)

Nom de l'auteurRôleType d'auteurŒuvre ?Statut
Wright, Richardauteur principaltoutes les éditionsconfirmé
Cade, PeterArtiste de la couvertureauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Diaz, DavidArtiste de la couvertureauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Fisher, Dorothy CanfieldIntroductionauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Olzon, GöstaTraducteurauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Pellizzi, CamilloTraducteurauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Phillips, CarylIntroductionauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Rampersad, ArnoldIntroductionauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Reilly, JohnPostfaceauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Schuck, MaryConcepteur de la couvertureauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Solotaroff, TheodorePostfaceauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé

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Right from the start, Bigger Thomas had been headed for jail. It could have been for assault or petty larceny; by chance, it was for murder and rape. Native Son tells the story of this young black man caught in a downward spiral after he kills a young white woman in a brief moment of panic. Set in Chicago in the 1930s, Richard Wright's novel is just as powerful today as when it was written -- in its reflection of poverty and hopelessness, and what it means to be black in America.

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