When reading the novels Native Son by Richard Wright and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, the reader can recognize various similarities throughout the novels. The reader can see similarities between the character Bigger Thomas from Native Son and the creature from Frankenstein. Also, the character Buddy Thomas relates to the creature in the beginning of the novel, Frankenstein. In addition, both novels have a character that has negatively warped a younger character-- namely Mr. Dalton and Victor Frankenstein. The novel’s various similar characters reveal an undying interest in society’s role in warping the innocence of people.
In Native Son, the character Bigger Thomas is highly oppressed and treated as an outcast in society. This relationship with society is nearly identical to that of the creature in Frankenstein. Bigger Thomas did not choose which race he would be born as, nor did he chose to live in a time of oppression. Despite all this, Bigger is still treated as inferior to white people all throughout the novel. After being raised in an environment in which he was told he would never be able to amount to his dreams, Bigger eventually stretches past his limits and becomes enraged. He uses his anger to rationalize his view of the accidental murder of Mary Dalton. When Bigger’s girlfriend tells him that he will be accused of raping Mary, Bigger thinks:
Had he raped her? Yes, he had raped her. Every time he felt as he had felt that night, he raped. But rape was not what one did to women. Rape was what one felt when one’s back was against a wall and one had to strike out, whether one wanted to or not, to keep the pack from killing one. He committed rape every time he looked into a white face. He was a long, taut piece of rubber which a thousand white hands had stretched to the snapping point, and when he snapped it was rape. But it was rape when he cried out in hate deep in his heart as he felt the strain of living day by day. That, too, was rape. (Book Two)
Bigger feels as if he was forced to act out against white society due to their abuse of him and his culture. Just like Bigger, the creature from Frankenstein feels the pressures and criticisms of society. The creature is forced to the outskirts of society because of his unnatural appearance. However, just like Bigger, the creature did not chose his appearance, nor did he choose his creation. Even though both characters did not choose their appearance, their appearance is what ultimately decides how society will treat them. When people refuse to accept the creature, the creature becomes aggressive and responds violently just as Bigger does with Mary and Bessie. In Frankenstein, the creature looks upon William Frankenstein, notices that he is carrying a picture of a woman, and says:
I remembered that I was forever deprived of the delights that such beautiful creatures could bestow and that she whose resemblance I contemplated would, in regarding me, have changed that...