Comparing Richard Wright And James Baldwin's Blueprint For Negro Writing

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What does it mean to be a writer? Who or what defines a writer? Is it up to the critics, the readers, or the author’s original intentions? For Richard Wright and James Baldwin, their own authorial intentions define their work. Baldwin identified with Wright through his literature as he was growing up. He admired Wright’s work and saw him as a literary idol. When the two authors met in Brooklyn, Baldwin was just twenty-years old, and Wright was thirty-six. As they developed a friendship, they discovered that their ideas and intentions for literature were vastly different from one another. This sparked a feud between the two authors. Richard Wright felt that literature should be powerful and political. His goal as an author was to make his make his readers more conscious and aware of the social climate. For James Baldwin, he felt that literature should be an artistic creation, not used for a political agenda. Although …show more content…

In turn, it was clearly an insult toward Wright’s style and intentions in literature. Baldwin was certainly aware of Wright’s intentions as he was familiar with his work. Afterall, Wright was idol for many years. In Wright’s essay, “Blueprint for Negro Writing” it is evident that the essay is intended for a black audience. Wright is critiquing black writers for being too artistic. Instead, he implores them to be more political. His goal in writing is to make people aware of the social injustices occurring. The Negro writer who seeks to function within his race as a purposeful aren has a serious responsibility. In order to do justice to his subject matter, in order to depict Negro life in all of its manifold and intricate relationships, a deep, informed, and complex consciousness is necessary; a consciousness which draws for its strength upon the fluid lore of a great people, and more this lore with concepts that move and direct the forces of history today (Wright,

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