Comparison of “Native Son” and “Death of A Salesman”

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Native Son by Richard Wright depicts a major force such as racism in America that constantly brings out images and depictions of racial oppression in our nation. One reason many believed that those of darker skin are not pure and we’re treated as such is that of religion. Religion appears in Native Son By Richard Wright mostly in relation to Bigger’s mother and Reverend Hammond. Bigger’s mother relied on Religion as a comfort to the conflicts that occur in the south side, But Bigger thinks of his mother’s liability to religion as an escapist past time with no end to blind her from reality.

Bigger wishes he could enjoy and explore religion with his mother because of the comfort that it brings but it could not stop him from enduring the longing of his life. Another point is when Reverend gave Bigger a cross to wear while he was in prison, Bigger relates the cross to burned ones in racial rituals. He thinks of it as an insult to his people and thought of how cruel America can be to those of darker skin. Wright has depicts how even the moral province and comfort of Christianity has been corrupted in America and those of darker skin are expected to become criminals and be in-pure.

Popular Culture is depicted in Native son as a sign of racial oppression conveyed in films, magazines, and books. In films such as the one Bigger attends to in Book One, White people are depicted as clean, glamorous, and cultured. While those of darker skin are portrayed as savages or servants. (referring back to the slave era). This portrayal that Bigger sees is not the only source that depicts this racism, but is its multiplied and duplicated in almost every film and every magazine. Back then both blacks and whites see blacks as inferior brutes and savages, which effects whites in a crippling manner and in a devastating one for blacks.

Bigger is completely inspired by the film, that when he meets the Daltons, he cannot be himself. All he can do around whites is act like a subservient man that he has seen in much popular media representations. Wright later tells on that media consumption and assumptions to those of dark skins lead to Bigger’s execution, as the press make a furor over his case to make and sell newspapers. This prompts Buckey, the state’s attorney to hurry up with Bigger’s case like if it was not important and just seek out the death penalty.

Wright portrays communism in Native Son, like the figures of Jan and Max. This is one of the controversial aspects of the piece. Write was a part of the Communist party when he wrote this novel so many suggested that Max’s speech is Wright’s way to spread Communist propaganda according to many critics. Wright uses communism to depict a positive supportive tone for communism, yet he does not mention the party and its efforts. Jan depicts himself to be the only character a member of the party is blind to Bigger’s feelings. Likewise, Max is represented as the party’s lawyer, cannot understand Bigger whatsoever. In the end, Bigger’s salvation does not come from the Communist but from the realization that he must be strong and fight the rage to win the battle that goes inside himself before he can battle the outside world and its convictions. This is an example of individual effort.

In Death of A Salesman By Aurthur Miller, Willy has a tendency and habit of mythologizing people because of deluded understanding he has on the world. He tells that David Singleman as a legend and his death is noble. Willy also compares Biff and Happy to the mythical Greek figures, Adonis and Hercules, because he believes his sons are the pinnacles Willy says “personal attractiveness”- ( 1 ) and power well likeness to himself. He sees them as an incarnation to the American Dream. Willy’s mythologizing proves nevertheless. Yet Willy never realizes the lonely, on the road death of Singlesman. He tried to make it seem like it was Singleman’s heroic achievement. Willy confronts his death to be pathetic and that he had a meaningless life and legacy. Willy’s insurance [policy will pay off, Biff wants nothing to do with Billy’s admiration and ambition for him. Neither Biff or Happy lead to having a godlike life nevertheless. Even if Happy believed in the American dream he still leads an ungodly life like Willy’s.

Another motif in the piece is The American West, Alaska. And the African jungle. These places represent the potential instinct of Biff and Willy. Willy’s father was successful in Alaska and his brother Ben has become rich in Africa. These locations represent how Willy obsesses on how his Brooklyn neighboorhood limits him and traps him in an unpleasant reality. Alaska and Africa symbolize Willy’s failure, The American West symbolizes and shows us Biff’s potential. He realizes that potential when he sees himself as a farmer, working out in the open. His life has only been with Willy’s childlike behavior and delusions and the Eastern American Commercial World depicts that he has a Nineteenth-century mentality. Biff realizes the importance of being an individual, unlike his father Willy.

Another motif for The Death of a Salesman is the Garden. The idea and depiction of planting a garden in this piece. Willy has always been discussing the idea of starting up to plant a garden. On page 17 Willy states “The grass doesn’t grow anymore, you can’t raise a carrot in the backyard” At the end, his last futile attempts at life was the attempt to plant seeds in the backyard of his home. It is symbolic because it is something for people to remember him after he passes away. So they can think about and remember him as a great man who once lived the American Dream. Willy has never achieved success in his life, so he never planted his garden.

Native son and The Death of a Salesman both have motifs that specifically attach to the main characters and how it affects the way the story of them is told all around the text. Native Son mainly brings signs of racism and oppression. Mainly on blacks and how people of light color give them stereotypes and expectations. They depict them as dirty, un-pure, savages, fiends, and ungodly.

Cite this paper

Comparison of “Native Son” and “Death of A Salesman”. (2022, May 05). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/comparison-of-native-son-and-death-of-a-salesman/



Is Death of a Salesman a love story between father and son?
No, Death of a Salesman is not a love story between father and son.
What is the difference between a raisin in the sun and the Death of a Salesman?
A raisin in the sun is about a black family living in the south side of Chicago during the 1950's. The death of a salesman is about a white family living in New York during the 1950's.
What is the importance of the relationship between fathers and sons in Death of a Salesman?
The relationship between fathers and sons is important in Death of a Salesman because it is the basis of the protagonist's emotional journey. The father-son relationship is also a key theme in the play, as it explores the idea of what it means to be a father and a son.
Who is the better son in Death of a Salesman?
Aldous Huxley's Brave New World posits that a society can be kept happy through the use of technology and the strict control of information.
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