by Richard Wright
Native Son Theme of Religion
Religion provides comfort for some of the characters in the book, but the protagonist comes to believe that religion contributes to the exploitation of black people by making them satisfied with their treatment here on earth in expectation of better treatment in the afterlife. Religion is compared to alcohol; it makes life easier to bear but doesn’t solve the actual problem.
Questions About Religion
- Who practices religion in this book and why?
- Who rejects religion and why?
- What is the purpose of religion, according to Bigger? Do you agree with him? Bigger thinks this purpose is bad. Do you think he’s right?
- What is Reverend Hammond’s role in the novel? Does he serve an important role?
Chew on This
Even though Bigger rejects religion at the end of the novel, the novel doesn’t promote the idea that religion is a bad thing.
In the novel, religion provides Bigger with nothing but false hope.