Marcia Speth

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Robert Harper


The 1940 publication of Richard Wright’s Native Son was a major event in the literary history of the United States. The first widely published novel by and about a black man became a Book-of-the-Month-Club selection, subject of voluminous critical response. The popularity with white audiences of a work that is vehemently critical of white society was due in part to the sensational advertising campaign attached to it. Promoted as in exciting crime story, the novel was undoubtedly a shocking experience for radically unsophisticated segments of the white reading public and press.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of English and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 1975 Marcia Speth.

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