Native Son Research Paper

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Wright or Wrong? See The Bigger Picture. Richard Wright’s novel Native Son is known for its eye opening, multi dilemmas on race, violence, and problems facing African American societies. In the slums of Chicago, Illinois, lives the Thomas family, in a rat-infested one bedroom apartment, which has little to no space for a healthy living. The Thomas family consists of four people; Vera Thomas, the youngest one, Buddy Thomas, the second oldest, their holier than thou mother, and Bigger Thomas, the oldest and main character of the story. The motif of helplessness and fear of the unknown is evident right from the beginning of the book. In the first chapter titled “Fear”, the author Richard Wright describes the nature of Bigger Thomas, as a cornered animal. An animal in the sense that he reacts only to keen instincts, and is manipulated by one thing and one thing alone; Fear. “His…show more content…
The author writes this separate entry to go deeper into the Bigger Thomas we were blind to in the book. “I was fascinated by the similarity of the emotional tensions of Bigger in America and Bigger in Nazi Germany and Bigger in old Russia... All the Bigger Thomas’s, white and black, felt tense and afraid, nervous, hysterical, and restless.” (How Bigger Was Born, page 446) The author uses Bigger Thomas as a symbol for countries who saw themselves as inferior until they did something outrageous and bold that other countries would’ve never imagined. This rise to power also came with a feeling of alienation from a world they already grown to detest. That was the price of freedom; Doing the unimaginable. In conclusion, it is easy to blame a poor black man for his wrong doings and his shortcoming, but “the boy comes from an oppressed people. Even if he’s done wrong, we must take that into consideration."

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