Analysis Of Bigger Thomas In Native Son By Richard Wright

943 words - 4 pages

Between the 1930’s and 1940’s there has been racial prejudice against African Americans. They were immediately put down and racially profiled. Being different from the White people prevented them from living freely. They were socially led to live a failed lifestyle because racial and economic forces shaped and provoked African Americans such as Bigger to live to the stereotype. Wright puts Bigger in a brutal, hostile social environment which not only depicts Bigger Thomas, but also puts a critical/harsh eye on the White community. Richard Wright displays in his novel, Native Son, that the protagonist, Bigger, is a monstrous symbol of what can happen if society refuses to make freedom and opportunity available to all people.
Violence, poverty, and racism were inevitable and the determining factors for people, especially Bigger during the 40’s. Bigger Thomas was “damaged by racism and poverty” (Himes) He has no way out of the walls of poverty and racism that surround him, and after he murders a young white woman in a moment of panic, these walls begin to close in on him. The “violence is gratuitous and compulsive because the root of violence is never examined. The root is rage.” (Butler) Thus examines that violence is irresistible and compelling to Bigger because he has so much reason to hate the white community. His rage compelled him to act upon his feelings, and kill people. This only made the reality of his crime worse. Bigger now has to face the consequences of reality. He becomes “The total embodiment of that society’s hatred, prejudices and resentments against the Black men.” (Amis) Although black people were already despised throughout the book, Bigger has given them another reason to look down upon the Black community. Even most critiques of Wright’s novel “see only the blackness of his skin and his resulting social role. Few have seen him in his discrete entity, a particular person who struggles with the burden of his humanity.” (Amis) Wright has gone to great extent to create Bigger as a person, not a tool for society. But we can identify that “Bigger’s world is one of stereotypes.” (George) This means that even if we pay close attention to his characteristics and justifications, we can never ignore the fact that he is black and lives in an environment where blacks and whites are not equal. This is why it is said that “Bigger Thomas is doomed and trapped in a downward spiral…” (Baldwin)

The environment in which Bigger lives in, shapes and makes him who he is right now. It is said that how you are raised and the environment in which you grow up in, helps to determine who you are as a person. That belief came to be true when it comes to...

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