The image of the traveling monk-poet, going from village to village and spending endless hours alone in the mountains composing poetry, has been common in the East for hundreds of years. This image was later popularized in the West by such writers as Gary Snyder, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and Kenneth Rexroth. The Japanese poet Saigyo was the embodiment of that image.
Richard Wright's 'Native Son' is classic protest literature. It ranks alongside great works like 'Grapes of Wrath' by John Steinbeck. It is a book with an agenda, but it expresses a deep sympathy for humanity. It is Richard Wright's most celebrated work (though his autobiography 'Black Boy' has also won many readers) because of it's power and strength.