Role of Bigger Thomas in Native Son by Richard Wright

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Bigger Thomas, the protagonist of Native Son, by Richard Wright, expresses the role of a poor, uneducated black man. Bigger lived in a time where racism was very common in the society. Wright shows us through him, how bad the situation was. Due to his lack of education, Bigger had to work menial labor. Thus, he was forced to live in a one room apartment with his family. He felt trapped all his life, resenting, hating, and fearing the whites, whom he felt controlled his life. He views white people as a collective, overpowering force that tells him where to live, where to work, and what to do. The main focus of Wright?s novel is to show the effects of racism on one?s mind. Bigger has lived a life defined by the fear and anger he feels toward whites for as long as he can remember. Perhaps that is what leads him to do the crimes that he does.Bigger develops the main action of the book when he kills Mary Dalton. In fact, it makes him feel as though his life actually has a meaning. He feels as if he has the power to assert himself against the whites. Wright does not try to show Bigger as a hero, because of his brutality and capacity for violence which is extremely disturbing, especially in the scene where he shoves Mary Dalton?s dead body in to the burning furnace in order to hide it. Wright?s main point is that Bigger becomes a brutal killer just because the dominant white culture fears that he will. By fearing whites, Bigger only contributes to the cycle of racism and fuels it even more. However, after meeting Max, he begins to redeem himself, actually recognizing whites as individuals for the first time in his life.But the social injustice does not end there, after killing Mary Dalton, Bigger goes to Bessie, his girlfriend and tells her everything. Recognizing that Bessie might tell anyone, Bigger kills her too and is than arrested by the police. There, the injustice takes place. When Bigger was arrested, andjailed, he received constant harassment. He only faced two choices, either to confess, or be lynched by the white crowed. Bigger knew deep down, that he was going to die anyhow. But Max, his lawyer, reminded him that he could still win the case and be free. Another example of the injustice is that when Bigger was eventually caught, the pubic and the media press automatically determine that he is guilty of not only killing Mary, but also rapping her before killing her.

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