Every person on earth has feelings and beliefs that must be expressed, and, of course, there is no one, perfect means of doing this that works for everyone. For some, literature provides a perfect medium to depict exactly what they wish to communicate. As an example, Richard Wright’s novel, Native Son, specifically conveys his opinion of the struggle blacks had to face (personified by Bigger Thomas, the main character of the story) in the white man’s world of the early 1900’s. To create a novel such as this, there are many concepts that must be strung together. Specifically for Native Son, the concepts were: the true nature of fiction, what it means to be black in America, and the challenge of writing the novel.The nature of fiction itself helped in the creation of this book. The first aspect is its paradoxical nature. Wright believes its paradoxical nature is due to the conjoining of two extremes: public and private (vii).”The more the author thinks of why he wrote, the more he comes to regard his imaginations as a kind of self-generating cement which glued his facts together, and his emotions as a kind of dark and obscure designer of those facts.” (vii)
Wright believes authors are eager to explain themselves but in process they are confronted with emotions (viii). This in itself is a paradox of fiction that causes the author do “dress up” his emotions to display his life, which is not possible (viii).The next aspect of the nature of fiction is one the author cannot always control: the meanings expressed in the novel. Wright put many obvious ideas in his book, but some of the meanings he could not account for, not because he did not want to, but because he did not know of them (viii). Like stated earlier, Wright was faced with many emotions he did not know were in his life. The unaccounted meanings came to him as he expressed his feelings writing the novel.The final aspect of the nature of fiction that influenced Wright was the use of white writers as his role models. He describes associating with them as “the life preserver of my hope to depict Negro like in fiction” which had seldom been done (xvi). Wright wanted to be able to compare his work to how white people stereotyped blacks so that in turn , white people would question their own beliefs and stereotypes.