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Richard Wright's Women: The Thematic Treatment of Women in Uncle Tom's Children, Black Boy and Native Son


Brewton, Butler E.


Ph.D(Rutgers University), D/English South Carolina State University; Professor Emeritus Montclair State University

Richard Wright died 50 years ago and in that time there has been little research on the role of women in his powerful novels of African-American life in America. This research monograph fulfills that informational and interpretative need. It is an analysis of Wright's seemingly thin and shadowy use of female characters and a reinterpretation of those characters as symbolical instruments in the development of Wright's chief male characters as they struggle as “boy-men” in the profoundly racist America of the early and mid 20th century America. Both white and black women are examined and their effect on the black male protagonists is subjected to intense critical scrutiny. Wright's own personal life is also discussed as a means of interpreting his own relations with both his (white) wives and the effect this may have had on some specific narrative elements in his work.

“Both Wright and his great contemporary Ralph Ellison struggled with their literary as well as their personal relations with women of all backgrounds. Dr Brewton has succeeded in giving us the research needed to understand the moral,cultural and political underpinnings of that struggle and its great cry of protest in Wright's mature work.” Dean Joseph

Afro-American Literature, American Literature 20th c., Women in American Literature,The Black Experience in America
Release Date: 
Cloth: 978-1-933146-93-5 /1933146-93-1
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