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Kelley
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Number of posts : 890
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Localisation : Delta, Colorado
Registration date : 2006-11-20

PostSubject: Discussion Questions   Tue Aug 21, 2007 5:10 pm

1. In what ways does Wright portray Bigger’s day-to-day existence as a prison, even before his arrest and trial?

2. Describe the real estate practices that were applied to black families in Chicago’s South Side in the 1930s. With these practices in mind, why is Mr. Dalton—an avowed philanthropist toward blacks—a hypocrite?

3. Describe Jan and Mary’s attitude toward race relations. In what ways does their more subtle racism resemble the more overt prejudice of other whites?

4. How does Bigger’s desperate flight from the police symbolize his existence as a whole?

5. As Wright portrays it, how does the psychology of racial prejudice contribute to Bigger’s transformation into a murderer and a criminal?

6. Is Bigger’s trial a fair one? In Wright’s portrayal, how does racism affect the American judicial process? What role does the media play in determining popular conceptions of justice?

7. Describe the psychological and behavioral change that overcomes Bigger during the interview with Mr. Dalton. Why does he change in the presence of Mr. Dalton? In what way is it significant that Bigger goes to the movies before going to the Daltons’?

8. What are some of the real historical events that occur or are mirrored in Native Son? How does Wright weave these events into his fictional narrative, and how does this technique affect the novel as a whole?

9. What role does imagery of vision and sight play in Native Son? Think especially of Mrs. Dalton’s blindness and Bigger’s murder of Mary.

10. How does popular culture serve as a form of indoctrination throughout Native Son?
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Karen

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Localisation : Cortez, Colorado
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PostSubject: Re: Discussion Questions   Tue Aug 28, 2007 7:32 pm

1. In what ways does Wright portray Bigger’s day-to-day existence as a prison, even before his arrest and trial? Bigger lives in a tiny one room apartment so closely with his family that there is no privacy. He is unable to do anything he 'wants to do' though it is somewhat nebulous about what he really wants to do
2. Describe the real estate practices that were applied to black families in Chicago’s South Side in the 1930s. With these practices in mind, why is Mr. Dalton—an avowed philanthropist toward blacks—a hypocrite? Mr Dalto kept black in a specified area by not allowing them to rent elsewhere in the city. he also charge higher rates for rent to blacks and there were never quite enough apartments for rent. I don't think dalton recognized that he was a hypocrit as he said in the book 'it's the way things are done!'

3. Describe Jan and Mary’s attitude toward race relations. In what ways does their more subtle racism resemble the more overt prejudice of other whites? Mary spoke to Bigger as if he were subhuman, as in where do your people lie? How do your people live? Let's eat in a black cafe for the thrill of doing so.I didn't get that sense from Jan so much.

4. How does Bigger’s desperate flight from the police symbolize his existence as a whole? He was running away from his destiny. He had een saying all along that something was going to happen and he wasn't expecting it to be good. However, he didn't really want to face the end result of his bad choices or maybe from his perspective it was the result of what was thrust upon him by white society.

5. As Wright portrays it, how does the psychology of racial prejudice contribute to Bigger’s transformation into a murderer and a criminal? If you tell a person they are an animal enough times, they become an animal with animal like instincts. he was only doing what the masses truly expected of him.

6. Is Bigger’s trial a fair one? In Wright’s portrayal, how does racism affect the American judicial process? What role does the media play in determining popular conceptions of justice? Wow. This part of the book was really interesting with all of the slandering and name calling and packaging to create hysteria. Again, I wonder how cdlose to the mark that was for the times.

7. Describe the psychological and behavioral change that overcomes Bigger during the interview with Mr. Dalton. Why does he change in the presence of Mr. Dalton? In what way is it significant that Bigger goes to the movies before going to the Daltons’? I dont know. What was the signifigance of the movies?

8. What are some of the real historical events that occur or are mirrored in Native Son? How does Wright weave these events into his fictional narrative, and how does this technique affect the novel as a whole?

9. What role does imagery of vision and sight play in Native Son? Think especially of Mrs. Dalton’s blindness and Bigger’s murder of Mary. well, I guess that neither bigger or the Daltons could see that they were really prejudiced. It took much after thought on the part of bigger to see where he had erred in his thinking of his mother, family and black in general and how he had hurt them and made things worse for them. it took this crisis for the Daltons to see they were pissing in the wind by throwing money at the black population when they were contributing to keeping them down and in the slums.

10. How does popular culture serve as a form of indoctrination throughout Native Son?
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