Oppression (Native Son)

Topics: Oppression, Intersectionality, Toyin Agbetu Pages: 3 (1136 words) Published: October 8, 1999
In the novel Native Son written by Richard Wright a young adult named Bigger Thomas goes through a metamorphosis, from sanity to insanity. He starts out a normal trouble youth, living in a run down housing project, where all he does is hang out with his gang. But the city relief program gives him an opportunity to work and make something of himself. All he has to do is chauffeur for a very rich family. But on his first job everything goes wrong and he ends up murdering the family’s daughter. Through this novel Bigger meets many other people, which have the same oppression as him but handle it in different ways. Some of these people include his mother, his girlfriend, and Max his lawyer. All of these people have a certain amount of oppression given to them by the outside world. The only difference is the way each one of them handle it.

Ever since Bigger was a little boy he has felt very oppressed by the world because he was black. Bigger feels that he has nothing to be proud of so he takes this oppression to the heart and turns it into fear. The only way that he could express himself was to show the world that they should not oppress what they don’t know the power of. Bigger demonstrated that he should be feared and acknowledged by murdering the daughter of a very rich family. At one point after Bigger killed the daughter stated that “...for the first time in my fear-ridden life a barrier of protection between him and a world of fear.”(p. 119) Bigger feels as though know that he has killed this person that all will be well because of this new sense of power that he received from doing this horrible act. At this point Bigger feels assured that he could fool the world into thinking that he was normal. He started referring to all the people around him as blind, even when they where already physically blind; “Ms. Dalton was blind; yes blind in more ways than one”(p. 120) but in his...
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