Study Guide

Native Son Allusions

By Richard Wright

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Literature, Philosophy, and Mythology

The Bible: Genesis 1 (3.71); Genesis 2 (3.74-75); "the word became flesh," from John 1:14-18 (3.99)

Historical References

Adolf Hitler (2.251)
Benito Mussolini (2.251)
Japan colonizing China (2.251)

Pop Culture

Charles D. Tillman: "Life’s Railway to Heaven" (1.133)
"Lord, I want to be a Christian" – an American folk hymn (1.522)
Cliff Friend and Dave Franklin: "The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down" (1.547)
Jack Johnson – the first black Heavyweight Champion of the World (1.924)
Joe Louis – a black man and one of the greatest boxers that ever lived (1.924)
Jack Dempsey – extremely popular white boxer (1.924)
Henry Armstrong – a black man and world boxing champion (1.924)
Ginger Rogers – actress and singer, well known for her dancing with Fred Astaire (1.924)
Jean Harlow – actress known as the "Blonde Bombshell" and the "Platinum Blonde" (1.924)
Janet Gaynor – the first winner of the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1928 (1.924)
Charles D. Tillman: "Understand it Bye and Bye" (1.1009-1012)
"Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" – a hymn (1.1214)
"Steal away to Jesus" – a hymn (2.2199)

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