Silence and Blindness in Richard Wright’s Native Son

Chibuzo Onunkwo, Mary J.N. Okolie, Chigbu Andrew Chigbu, Ginikachi Christian Uzoma


Richard Wright’s Native Son has often been read as a socially-oriented text, seemingly neglecting its existence as a literary construct. Such readings gear towards identifying the text with such societal ills as racism and environmental impact on the individual, as if these are the only business of the text.In this paper, however, attention shifts from such external referents to the text itself, deconstructing the meaning of blindness already ascribed to the text as well as the meaning of silence as it is denotatively known. The uncovering of the textual meaning of each of these concepts will also serve either to compliment a character or to disparage same, and then the interweave of both concepts will result in reading the text as a tragedy. This study will be anchored on the provisions of Derrida’s deconstructive criticism.


Silence, Blindness, Textuality, Existence, Decentring, Tragedy

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