Lesson Notes By Weeks and Term - Senior Secondary School 2

The dangers of racial oppression




TERM: 2nd Term


  1. Exam Reflection Literature- in-English by Sunday OlatejuFaniyi.
  2. Exam Reflection Literature-in-English (Prose and Drama) by Sunday OlatejuFaniyi.  
  3. Native Son by Richard Wright.




The dangers of racial oppression: Beyond all reasonable doubts, it is convincingly established by Max in court that the gruesome crimes of Bigger are not in any way far from the intimidating weight of racial inequalities that permeate the American society. That is, by extension, this work proffers to readers that there are dangers concomitant to act of oppression, and particularly, racial oppression. We see young Bigger who enjoys his freelance attitude and gangsterism becoming a deadly emotionless murderer just within twenty-four hours he got to the Daltons. This is truly not surprising to Max, who understands the psychic of an oppressed mind and person. No wonder, he and his communist group fight for the emancipation of the black race from white dominance to assure a safer American society for all.


The theme of poverty and penury: Considering the economic standard of the Thomas’ family, who also represent other black character mentioned in the work, we will come to terms that poverty and penury have taken over the black neighbourhood that they find it difficult to groom a proper child with qualitative education and wellbeing. This is why the Thomas’ family find themselves under the care of the relief home. And this was the reason why Bigger had to come in contact with the Daltons in the first place, for they were threatened by the relief home not to supply them with food any longer. The look of the apartment the black people occupy reveals the level of poverty and penury that has conquered them.


The theme of deceit and greed: After the revelation in court by Max that the black race pay rent for houses obviously in bad conditions at a fee twice the amount the whites pay for their own houses in good conditions and that Mr. Dalton who coincidentally stands as the Thomas’ landlord is a major player in the atrocities, we realise the deceit in the charity displayed by people like Dalton to the black people as the money they give is only the excess of what they have squeezed out of the black people in America. What this fact shows is that the donations made by Mr. Dalton celebrated in court by the state attorney hold no moral standing. This is what the communists decide to kick against, as they see the relationship of the white and the black to be that of the predator and the prey.



  1. Give a detailed plot account of the novel, Native Son.
  2. Comment on two major themes of the novel, Native Son.



  1. What are the themes in the novel?
  2. Discuss three dominant themes in the novel.   



Read  Native Son  and list the main characters.


  1. A praise poem is (a) a dirge (b) an epic (c) an ode (d) a ballad
  2. Lines of regular recurrence in a poem constitutes (A) a refrain (b) an alliteration (c) an assonance (d) a theme
  3. A regular group of lines in poetry constitutes (a) Stanza (b) verse (c) rhythm (d) metre
  4. An individual who acts , appears or is referred to as playing a part in a  in a literary work is a (A) villain (b) character (c) clown (d)narrator
  5. A bitter remark intended to wound the feeling is (a) satire (b) an allusion (c) a sarcasm (d) an ambiguity



Comment on the use of symbols in Native Son.

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