Richard Wright's "Native Son" Essay

1995 words - 8 pages

Character Actions Defines Their Individual Personalities andBelief SystemsRichard Wright's novel, Native Son, consisted of various main andsupporting character to deliver an effective array of personalities andexpression. Each character's actions defines their individualpersonalities and belief systems. The main character of Native Son, BiggerThomas has personality traits spanning various aspect of human natureincluding actions motivated by fear, quick temper, and a high degree ofintelligence. Bigger, whom the novel revolves around, portrays variouspersonality elements through his actions.Many of his action suggest an overriding response to fear, which stems fromhis exposure to a harsh social climate in which a clear line betweenacceptable behavior for white's and black's exists. His swift anger and hisdestructive impulses stem from that fear and becomes apparent in theopening scene when he fiercely attacks a huge rat. The same murderousimpulse appears when his secret dread of the delicatessen robbery impelshim to commit a vicious assault on his friend Gus. Bigger commits both ofthe brutal murders not in rage or anger, but as a reaction to fear. Histypical fear stems from being caught in the act of doing somethingsocially unacceptable and being the subject of punishment. Although helater admits to Max that Mary Dalton's behavior toward him made him hateher, it is not that hate which causes him to smother her to death, but afeeble attempt to evade the detection of her mother. The fear of beingcaught with a white woman overwhelmed his common sense and dictated hisactions. When he attempted to murder Bessie, his motivation came fromintense fear of the consequences of "letting" her live. Bigger realizedthat he could not take Bessie with him or leave her behind and concludedthat killing her could provide her only "merciful" end.The emotional forces that drive Bigger are conveyed by means other than hiswords. Besides reactions to fear, his actions demonstrate an extremelyquick temper and destructive impulse as an integral part of his nature.Rage plays a key part in his basic nature, but does not directly motivatethe murders he commits. Rage does not affect Bigger's intelligence andquick thinking and it becomes evident during the interview with Briton.The detective makes Bigger so angry that the interrogation becomes a gameto Bigger, a game of logic and wills, of playing the stupid negro, andtelling the man exactly what he wants to hear. The game Bigger playsduring the interrogation shows his great intelligence and ability to thinkquickly on his feet. Bigger also displayed his intelligence in thecreation of the ransom note. Using the situation to his advantage, Biggerwrote a ransom note to extort Mary's parents for money. To make the noteeven more convincing and to dissuade blame from himself, Bigger signs thenote with the communist symbol of a hammer and sickle.Although the book revolves around Bigger he possesses few good qualities,which get his...

Find Another Essay On Richard Wright's "Native Son"

"The Theme of violence in Richard Wright's Native Son".

1422 words - 6 pages Richard Wright's "Native Son" is a social protest novel reflecting his absolute horror at the condition of the relations between the black and white societies in America. Wright emphasizes that the rage felt by all black Americans is the direct result of white racism. Bigger Thomas is a product of this society, and is driven to hostile actions as a result of his rage. The central theme of this novel is one of violence. The three components

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

600 words - 2 pages Was Richard Wright's Native Son a story about his views towards Capitalism and Communism ? Did Richard Wright want to show the good and bad points towards Capitalism and Communism ? Or was this novel just about how a young man went through life and how society made him. Richard Wright's Native Son shows that he used the Dalton's, Thomas's, and Jan Erlone to represent Capitalism and Communism .After reading Richard Wright's Native Son, many

Native Son, by Richard Wright

862 words - 3 pages Native Son, by Richard Wright, was hailed by reviewers as an instant classic upon its release in 1940. The novel was an instant bestseller, having been included in the book-of-the-month-club. Due to its proto revolutionary themes it was the subject of many reviews. Two such reviewers are Clifton Fadiman and Malcolm Cowley.         Clifton Fadiman, writer for The New Yorker declared that Native Son was the most powerful American novel

Native Son by Richard Wright

1660 words - 7 pages many black males today, was a prisoner to society and eventually an actually prisoner. America has been built on a horrifying inevitability for black men; that they will always be expected to be criminals or engage criminal acts even if they are innocent. Richard Wright’s Native Son displays remarkable support of the prisoner theme that went on in the 1930’s, that also continues to go on today and that can reach an end if blacks continue to educate

Native Son by Richard Wright

2400 words - 10 pages Native Son by Richard Wright Who is the victim in a prejudiced civilization? The dominant group or the minority? "Native Son," a

Everlasting Murder- "Native Son" by Richard Wrigth

858 words - 3 pages Who can forget the fires blazing over local buildings during the Los Angeles Riots? Unfortunately the whole event does not seem as if it was too far off in the past. Although today we live in a nation, which has abolished slavery, the gap between the whites and the blacks during the early stages of America's development has plainly carried into the present. In Native Son, author Richard Wright illustrates this racial gap, in addition to

Organized Religion Exposed in Richard Wright’s Native Son

1716 words - 7 pages Organized Religion Exposed in Richard Wright’s Native Son If the United States were to adopt a Communist government, it would be a better country. If Americans were to dispose of religion, they would be content people. If Richard Wright were to complete an assignment regarding the context of his novel, Native Son, the aforementioned arguments would be his focus. Wright, like all Marxists, believes that religion is “the opiate of the masses

"Native Son", by Richard Wright - Essay Title: Bigger's Progression

1105 words - 4 pages Throughout Native Son, by Richard Wright, Bigger Thomas, the protagonist, transforms from a hateful and violent rebel to an understanding, transcendental person. Right from the start, Bigger was a person who had little control over his life and his actions. His life was mainly controlled by his mother, who would encourage Bigger to go out and get a legible job in order to support the family. Bigger's actions were controlled by his fear, as he

The Style, Point of View, Form and Structure of Native Son, by Richard Wright

1169 words - 5 pages Richard Wright, in his novel, Native Son, favors short, simple, blunt sentences that help maintain the quick narrative pace of the novel, at least in the first two books. For example, consider the following passage: "He licked his lips; he was thirsty. He looked at his watch; it was ten past eight. He would go to the kitchen and get a drink of water and then drive the car out of the garage. " Wright's imagery is often

Blindness in Native Son, by Richard Wright and Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison

3154 words - 13 pages The anaphora of blindness reveals itself in the two African American novels, Native Son by Richard Wright, written before the civil rights era, and Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, written in the mid 1950’s. They are spliced in an effort to center in on the American racial discrimination and segregation through both Wright’s and Ellison’s imagery to show how white supremacists forced African Americans to live a

Fear Driven: this is an essay that explains the reasoning behind the first book of "Native Son" by Richard Wright being called Fear

592 words - 2 pages Fear is defined as an unpleasant feeling of distress. Fear is a good title for the first book of Native Son because Bigger Thomas is driven by his fear. Every action that he takes is dictated by fear. Bigger fights with Gus because he was afraid. He goes out with Mary and Jan out of fear. The suffocation of Mary was also caused by his fear of being caught.The first of Bigger’s actions that fear influenced was his fight with Gus.Gus had made

Similar Essays

Richard Wright's Native Son Essay

816 words - 3 pages Richard Wright's Native Son Richard Wright's novel, Native Son, stirred up a real controversy by shocking the sensibilities of both black and white America. The protagonist, Bigger Thomas, is from the lowest ring of society, and Wright does not blend him with any of the romantic elements common to literary heroes. Bigger is what one expects him to be because of the social conditions in which he lives: he is sullen, frightened, violent

Richard Wright's Native Son Essay

3529 words - 15 pages Conditioning in Native Son by Richard Wright: Can a Man be Held Responsible for Actions Decided for Him? In 1607, the English crossed the great Atlantic Ocean, braving the unexplored terrain of the new world, in hopes to achieve economic prosperity. But to achieve this economic prosperity, it became clear that cheap, reliable labor would be a necessity in order to thrive birthing the practice of slavery in the United States. Three hundred

Richard Wright's Novel, "Native Son". Essay

1707 words - 7 pages For Rich or For Poor?Since time began, there has been a never-ending struggle between people of different backgrounds. This includes differences such as race, social standing, and financial stability. Although the United States has spent the last two hundred years making sure that every American is treated equally and justly, these same struggles still occur today. In Richard Wright's novel, Native Son, he illustrates the conflicts between the

Richard Wright's Novel, "Native Son". Essay

1326 words - 5 pages Richard Wright's novel, Native Son, consists of various main and supporting characters who exhibit a diverse array of personalities and expression. Each character's action defines their individual personalities and belief systems. The main character, Bigger Thomas has personality traits spanning various aspects of human nature including actions motivated by fear, a quick temper, and a high degree of intelligence.Bigger reveals various