Richard Wright Discussion Topics

Discussion Topics

(Masterpieces of American Literature)

What explains the unusual amount of recognition that Richard Wright received as an African American writer as early as the 1940’s?

How does Wright succeed in inducing sympathy for the violently antisocial Bigger Thomas in Native Son?

Ralph Ellison compared Wright’s work to the blues. What characteristics of this form of music find their parallel in Wright’s novels?

Consider the significance of hunger, both literal and metaphorical, in Black Boy.

What circumstances caused Wright to be simultaneously vilified by both communists and federal agencies combating communism?

To date, Wright’s reputation as a novelist has fluctuated. What characteristics of his work are most likely to entitle him to the rank of major American writer?