Racism is the most ubiquitous theme present in Native Son because it was written in a time when racial inequality was pervasive in everyday life. There was a large disparity in wealth between whites and blacks simply because whites were given more opportunity in the middle and upper class job section around the country, especially Chicago. The large disparity in wealth is best exemplified when Bigger first walks into the white society where:
“He had not expected anything like this; he had not thought that this world would be so utterly different from his own that it would intimidate him. On the smooth walls were several paintings whose nature he tried to make out, but failed. He would have liked to examine them, but he dared not. Then he listened; a faint sound of piano music floated to him from somewhere. He was sitting in a white world; dim lights burned around him; strange objects challenged him, and he was feeling very angry and uncomfortable.” (Wright 46).The intense racism of the white society on the African Americans has caused Bigger to act immorally and irrationally as a result of fear. The immoral and irrational behavior that is caused by racism is best shown by “His crime felt natural; he felt that all of his life had been leading to something like this. It was no longer a matter of dumb wonder as to what would happen to him and his black skin; he knew now. The hidden meaning of life – a meaning which others did not see and which he had always tried to hide – had spilled out.” (Wright 106).Bigger felt that his crime was justified because murder is an inevitable event that all his life has been leading to. His life has been filled with unjust racism towards blacks, so he felt justified that the killing of a white…
…d by an irrationally racist society.
Seidman, Barbara Kitt. “Native Son.” Magill’S Survey Of American Literature, Revised Edition (2006): 1-2. Literary Reference Center. Web. 20 Mar. 2014.
“Native Son: The Story Of Richard Wright.” Native Son: The Story Of Richard Wright (2003): 8-36. Literary Reference Center. Web. 5 Mar. 2014.
Faulkner, Howard, and Theresa L. Stowell. “Richard Wright.” Critical Survey Of Long Fiction, Fourth Edition (2010): 1-9. Literary Reference Center. Web. 5 Mar. 2014.
Reed, Anthony. “Another Map Of The South Side”: “Native Son” As Postcolonial Novel.” African American Review 45.4 (2012): 603-615. Literary Reference Center. Web. 5 Mar. 2014.
Davis, Jane. “Notes Of A Native Son.” Masterplots, Fourth Edition (2010): 1-4. Literary Reference Center. Web. 5 Mar. 2014.
Wright, Richard. Native Son. New York: Harper & Bros., 1940. Print.