Doug's Reviews > Native Son

Native Son by Richard Wright
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's review
Sep 27, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: classics, fiction

I was ready to put this book down, I thought that Bigger was just a fool meeting a fool's end, but Parts 1 and 2 were pretty thrilling, so I had to keep reading to see what would happen. It's the latter parts where he tries to explain the life he lived and what he was up against that made this book so fantastic. I didn't think that there was anything that he could say to make me sympathetic to him at all, and there was nothing that could justify what he did, but at the end of the day I felt like I understood him better.

"I know I'm going to get it. I'm going to die. Well, that's all right now. But really I never wanted to hurt nobody. That's the truth, Mr. Max. I hurt folks 'cause I felt I had to; that's all. They was crowding me close; they wouldn't give me no room. Lots of times I tried to forget 'em, but I couldn't. They wouldn't let me. . . . Mr. Max, I didn't mean to do what I did. I was trying to do something else. But is seems like I never could. I was always wanting something and was feeling that nobody would let me have it. So I fought 'em. I thought they was hard and I acted hard." He paused, then whispered in confession, "But I ain't hard, Mr. Max. I ain't hard even a little bit." He rose to his feet. "But. . . . I-I won't be crying none when they take me to the chair. But I'll b-b-be feeling inside of me like I was crying. . . . "

"Mr. Max, I know the folks who sent me here to die hated me; I know that. B-b-but you reckon th-they was like m-me, trying to g-get something like I was, and when I'm dead and gone they'll be saying like I'm saying now that they didn't mean to hurt nobody. . . th-that they was t-trying to get something, too. . . . ?"


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