Native Son Essay

Topics: African American, Black people, White people Pages: 2 (834 words) Published: December 2, 2012
Native Son essay

Authors commonly choose title’s that bring deeper insight into a novel. It can certainly be seen in the novel Native Son that this is the case. Bigger Thomas, the novel’s main character, is a "native son" because he is born and raised as a black man in the U.S., so he’s a product of the country and its society. The Circumstances he is raised in have shaped the person he grows up to be. In other novels such as Brave New World it can also be seen how the environment a person grows up in affects who they become. Both main characters from these books exhibit naturalism and as a result both end up dying. In many ways, society can be held accountable for the actions that Bigger Thomas makes during the novel. Starting from the beginning of the novel the reader knows that Bigger feels inferior to the whites. He acts as if the fact that he is black dictates what he can do in life, and no matter what he does he is doomed to a life of poverty and despair. Bigger says, “every time I get to thinking about me being black and they being white, me being here and they being there, I feel like something awful’s going to happen to me. . . ." (pg. 20) Bigger thinks that his fate is tied with the color of his skin. He feels like his choices are limited by the white citizens and that he’s trapped in a world where white people set limits on what he can and can’t do. The ideas Bigger has about the limits of his freedom stem from many political and social happenings at the time. Jim Crow laws are one of the limits society has set on Bigger. These laws were created to keep blacks separated from whites. Blacks were often treated worse than the whites because of these laws, and many of the black facilities were not equal to that of the white facilities. On the same note, black codes were used to keep blacks inferior to whites. These codes would take away their rights as an American citizen. These discriminatory laws all have an effect on Bigger Thomas and how he views...
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