This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Analysis Of Native Son Character Bigger Thomas And The Effects Of Racism On His Psyche.

819 words - 3 pages

The protagonist and main character of Native Son is Bigger Thomas. He is the focus of the novel and the embodiment of its main idea--the effect of racism on the mental state of its black victims. Richard Wright's exploration of Bigger's psychological corruption gives us a perspective on the effect that racism had on the black population in 1930s America. Some critics of Native Son have questioned the effectiveness of Bigger as a character. For instance, the famous black writer James Baldwin has considered Bigger as too narrow to represent the full scope of black experience in America, but I believe he is a powerful and disturbing symbol of black rage.As a 20-year-old black man cramped in a Chicago South Side apartment with his family, Bigger has lived a life defined by the fear and anger he feels toward whites. Bigger is limited by the eighth-grade departure from school, and by the racist real estate practices that forced him to live in poverty. Furthermore, he is subjected to messages from a popular culture that portrays whites as civilized and sophisticated and blacks as barbaric and subservient. Racism has severely reduced Bigger's opportunities in life and even his conception of himself. He is ashamed of his family's poverty and afraid of the whites who control his life--feelings he works hard to keep hidden, even from himself. When these feelings overwhelm him, he reacts with violence. "These were the rhythms of his life: indifference and violence; periods of abstract brooding and periods of intense desire; moments of silence and moments of anger--like water ebbing and flowing from the tug of some far-away, invisible force." (31) Bigger robs people with his friends--though only other blacks, as the gang is too frightened to rob a white man--but his own violence is often directed at these friends as well.Bigger sees white people as an overpowering and hostile force that is set against him in life. Just as whites fail to conceive of Bigger as an individual, he does not really distinguish between individual whites--to him, they are all the same, frightening and untrustworthy. Bigger feels little guilt after he accidentally kills Mary, the daughter of his white employers. In fact, he feels for the first time as though his life actually has purpose and meaning. Mary's murder makes him believe that he has the power to assert himself against whites. Wright goes out of his way to show that Bigger is...

Find Another Essay On Analysis of Native Son character Bigger Thomas and the effects of racism on his psyche.

Native Son- CHaracter ANalysis

2953 words - 12 pages Native Son Character Analysis Native Son: Character Actions Defines Their Individual Personalities and Belief Systems Richard Wright's novel, Native Son, consisted of various main and supporting character to deliver an effective array of personalities and expression. Each character's actions defines their individual personalities and belief systems. The main character of Native Son, Bigger Thomas has personality traits spanning various aspect of

Native Son Essay: Bigger as a Reflection of Society

1478 words - 6 pages Bigger as a Reflection of Society in Native Son   In Native Son, Wright employs Naturalistic ideology and imagery, creating the character of Bigger Thomas, who seems to be composed of a mass of disruptive emotions rather than a rational mind joined by a soul. This concept introduces the possibility that racism is not the only message of the novel, that perhaps every person would feel as isolated and alone as Bigger does were he trapped in

Native Son - Bigger versus the Daltons

546 words - 2 pages In the book Native Son by Richard Wright, the protagonist, Bigger Thomas, accidentally killed the daughter of the family he obtained a new job with, Mary Dalton. Bigger committed one of the most grievous crimes known to man; he killed another human being. However, Bigger should not be punished because the killing was an accident, because it was driven by intense fear, and because convicting him would outrage the black community. First, Bigger

A letter to Bigger Thomas from The Native Son, by Wright

513 words - 2 pages killer, and hoped you would get what is coming to you.It seems to me that you only care about Bigger Thomas and no one else but Bigger Thomas. Even when Mary and Jan tried opening to you, you brushed it off, because of your massive prejudice for white America. During your case Jan come to you and says, "Let me be on your side, Bigger. I can fight this thing with you, just like you've started it. I can come from all those white people and stand here

Short essay of Richard Wright's Native Son and his views toward Capitalism vs. Communism

600 words - 2 pages believe the author purposely placed the Thomas family in a small, run-down home . The book shows this right from the start . Bigger and his family had to sleep in the same room, and big rats were running around the house . This shows the Thomas family represented the lower class, a trademark of Capitalism . I could not even imagine living there, especially with that huge rat .The house must have been very dirty and disgusting by today's standards

Influences of Racism in James Baldwin's Notes of a Native Son

920 words - 4 pages begins. Then our hatred grows as we are influenced by the things we see on TV and the things being said about others in the music that we listen to. As we read the papers we read about politicians bad mouthing other races. How about where we live, go to school or even work? Yes, another set of influences. In Notes of a Native Son we see all these things come into play as we read about how James Baldwin tries to understand racism. In the

How Does Browning Reveal His Character Psyche in "Porphyria's lover" and "The Laboratory"?

959 words - 4 pages the poem in a dramatic monologue form. The character opens up emotionally as the lover as the lover 'listened with heart fit to break' but then his psychotic feelings of sexual jealousy come apparent as he sees her as 'pure and good' yet ironically he strangles her, showing that the lover is somewhat deluded.Both characters are jealous but only the women in the lab hates, which is emphasized by her sadistic psyche. Browning's choice of words

Due to racism in 1930's Chicago, Bigger Thomas was influenced to commit an action unlike his normal judgement would allow

1338 words - 5 pages man would cross over the line into the other part of the city. Being an African American in these times provided many difficulties for Bigger Thomas, the main character in Native Son, a novel written by Richard Wright. As a black man in a city of whites, Bigger had lived his life with an animosity toward those around him. This feeling of hatred was not an innate emotion, but one inherited by years of life in an environment governed by a racist

The Character and Psyche of Owen Meany

1522 words - 6 pages columnist Alfred Kazin says it best, “The narrator [John Wheelwright] of ''A Prayer for Owen Meany'' is … a good deal of a conscious and unapologetic wimp.” Clearly summing up the character of John Wheelwright, a character who would rather have his best friend cut of his finger than have to go to war, Kazin catches the true essence of John’s character. Wheelwright is a character who is completely dependent on the actions of Owen Meany to the

A Comical Analysis of The Tale of Cupid and Psyche

1532 words - 7 pages the Cambridge University Press stressed that the story is about love. Parker and Murgatroyd focused its analysis on the passion of Cupid and Psyche and their characters or depiction. According to them, Apeleius described Cupid as a passionate man, a loving husband, and a responsible father while Psyche is a depiction of a beautiful, famous woman with lots of admirers. Psyche is the typical woman who uses kiss, tears, and endearment to

The effects of Eurpoeans on Native Americans

719 words - 3 pages Keith Parks, History 156, Essay 1, 9 Feb 2014 Effects of European settler on Native Americans The Europeans eventually came to dominate the land once held by the Native Americans through theft, disease and converting the natives to Christianity. First many times the Europeans had their own best interest in mind when they went to meet the natives. The Europeans such as Cortes had heard stories of gold and wanted to take the gold for themselves

Similar Essays

Native Son The Metamorphosis Of Bigger Thomas

2566 words - 10 pages   In the turn of the century, the time of Bigger Thomas, the roles of black men and women in America were heavily restricted compared to the white population. Black people were also still treated unequally and dealt with as ignorant fools. Richard Wright's novel, Native Son, embraces this knowledge and follows the reaction of one angry man as he manages the delights of his exploits and the consequences of his deeds. Challenging pressures

Analysis Of Bigger Thomas In Native Son By Richard Wright

943 words - 4 pages 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

The Destructive Effects Of Racism On Bigger Thomas

1687 words - 7 pages THE DESTRUCTIVE EFFECTS OF RACISM ON BIGGER THOMAS THESIS: Bigger Thomas represents the black man’s condition and his revolt against the injustices of the white caste society. When one looks at the contribution of blacks in the world of American literature, Richard Wright is considered one of the great contributors. Truly one of his books which highlights the black’s view of American society has to be Native Son. In Native Son

Bigger Thomas, Of Native Son And Tupac Shakur

6105 words - 24 pages of problems in black America. Modern Day Bigger ����������� How then can we compare Richard Wright�s influential character and gangster rappers? Lyrics from Tupac Shakur�s song �God Bless the Dead,� released on Greatest Hits (1998), parallel many of the same themes Bigger Thomas wrestles with in Native Son; �we all hoods, and all we ever had was dreams. Money making motherfuckers plot scandalous schemes. In the gutter, you learn to have a