Abstract

This essay examines how in The Long Dream (1958) Wright portrays the developing consciousness of a man torn between filial allegiance to his black father and social subservience to white patriarchal authority figures. Recognizing Wright's interest in Freudian and Marxist theories, I argue that Wright uses this father-son relationship to explore the psychological and economic effects of racialized patriarchy in twentieth-century America. Wright's protagonist derives from his father an understanding of his own social illegitimacy, but he also inherits from his father both material and symbolic means by which to challenge this racist social order.

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