Realism, in The Norton Anthology of African American Literature, is “faithful reproduction or illusion of material “reality’; and naturalism, observed by Lorraine Handlebars is “you simply photograph the garbage can” (Gates and McKay 1356). “Modernist literature Is an opening up of the world In all of Its forms – theoretically, philosophically, aesthetically, and politically” (Mellon) Richard Wright, an African American who was born into a life filled with of gloom, poverty, and racial prejudice became one of the world’s most prolific novelists.
He received huge success with the producing of Native Son. In The Norton Anthology of African American Literature, the writings of Native Son “made him the first African American to receive both critical acclaim and commercial success simultaneously’ (Gate and McKay 1400). The day Native Son appeared, American culture was changed forever. No matter how much qualifying the book might later need, it made impossible a repetition of old lies” Irving Howe (Reuben).
Wright admired for his early pragmatic portrayal of the uncertainties and dissatisfaction of African Americans he continue to work with talented writers ” Wright was mainly owed the credit for setting the stage for these successes, particularly for creating publishing opportunities , directly and indirectly, for many other black writers” (Gate and McKay 1357). As an African American, the elements of realism, naturalism, and modernism were a focal point of his life. His association with other writers, supportive or critical of his work has provided a route for him to be artistically real, natural, and modern.
Author James Baldwin stated, “One writes out of one thing only one’s own experience” (Baldwin 7). Richard Wright, as a writer Is part of this literary movement because even as a hill growing up during Jim Crow laws he found a way around the law. In The Norton Anthology of African American Literature, “Wright fed his obsession, subverting Jim Crow laws by forging the now famous note to the public librarian: “Dear Madam: Will you please let this Niger boy have some books by H. L. Mencken? ” (Gates and McKay 1399). H. L. Mencken writings inspired Wright; In The Wright sensed a man “fighting, fighting with words… Using words as a weapon… S one would use a club” (Gates and McKay 1399).