Review: Native Son by Richard Wright

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Native Son By Richard Wright

Bigger Thomas, I believe, is neither the protagonist nor antagonist of Native Son. Richard Wright uses Bigger to show how the mindsets of blacks were psychologically altered due to racism in the 1930’s. Bigger’s life was lived in constant anger and fear towards the whites who were always portrayed as better and superior forcing him and the rest of the black community to live in poverty, segregated from the white community. Another emotion he also felt was power in a twisted way when he murdered Mary, the feeling that he had power to exert over the whites since he was able to murder one. He struggled with getting his true feelings out and is helped by his lawyer Max. Max tried to show the people that Bigger is not the only one who is like this and that continual racism resulted into the horrid death of Mary Dalton which can only be prevented in future cases if America realizes what racism could do to the psychological being of a human being.

From the start Bigger held this anger within him against the whites for controlling his life and not letting blacks do what white folks could. As he talks with Gus in the beginning of the book he questions white authority with anger because he didn’t have the same opportunities as they did just because he was black. He says that when he thinks about it he could feel anger rising within him and feels that something really bad is going to happen. (page 20) Bigger also had feelings of fear when it came to confronting the white supremacy. When he suggested that they should rob Mr. Blum he himself was scared to do it but said they should do it because he wanted to look strong and not weak in front of his friends. Secretly he was glad that Gus did not want to do it because that allowed a way out of the robbery. When Gus tells him that he was a coward he attacks Gus and beats him up for ruining the plan. (page 37) Bigger though was secretly afraid of robbing Mr. Blum because Mr. Blum was white....
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