Richard Wright's Native Son


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Richard Wright's Native Son


The book Native Son by Richard Wright is about an African American man growing up in the south. The main character Bigger Thomas often finds himself in trouble throughout his life from the beginning to the end. The author uses his views and thoughts through Bigger about American society. Bigger worked for a rich man named Mr. Dalton and had “accidentally” murdered his daughter Mary. As a result of that a domino effect of misfortune began to happen. Bigger was later arrested and put on trial because of his actions I felt like I was watching a man sinking through quicksand and with every movement or attempt to free himself making the situation worst. He only murder because fear of getting caught in her room, a white woman’s room. Mary was drunk and the Dalton’s would have thought Bigger was trying rape her or something. It was very distressing that Mary had to die but Bigger was only doing what he thought at the time was right.

When in an apartment building Bigger overheard a conversation between two men, Jack and Jim. They were arguing about if they had the chance to capture and turn bigger in would they. I agree with Jim who said that he stirred up a lot of trouble. Because of Bigger actions, mistake or no mistake, they were costing many black families their privacy, jobs and dignity. There comes a point were you have to take responsibility of your own action so others don’t get hurt. I also agree with Jim in the fact that he says that all black people look guilty to the police and that no matter how you try to stay out there way, you’ll still get messed with.

Bigger’s last moments of freedom was when he was running on the roofs of apartment buildings. It was very cold out that night and a lot of snow on top of the buildings. Before he was running, he was in the trapdoor and had heard a lot of noises, footsteps, shouting, and it was getting him nervous. He was about suicide but his pride got in the way. When he came to the last ledge their was no more roofs.

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He looked up and saw a water tower. He thought he had to hide quickly. They had him spotted but he wouldn’t come down. Then they sprayed him with the water hose, forcing him into their submission on the white snow floor. Ironically, he laid cover in the white he’d tried so hard to avoid.

Bigger in the book definitely grew from the beginning of the book at the end. In the start he had dreams and goals of being someone important. He wanted to fly places and be a pilot but he didn’t understand and realized at the end that society had painted picture where this did not exist. Bigger learned at the end that he is the reason for his misfortune and realizes that he shouldn’t have let society mold him into what they thought of he should be.

My personal reaction to Richard Wright’s Observation of society and its expectations of Black people is that people have their own ways of deal with life. Bessie dealt with it with alcohol and Bigger’s mother used religion. I fully agree with his perception of society to a tee.


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