Trader Horn Film Analysis

1337 Words6 Pages
In Trader Horn, whites are depicted as glamorous and attractive while the Africans are portrayed as jungle savages. These exaggerated images are emphasized in films and magazines throughout popular culture, influencing how people in society view each group. Being bombarded with these over the top and unrealistic images brainwashes people and tells them how they should view others. Both blacks and whites are conditioned by the media to believe that whites are the superior race, leading to severe prejudice from whites and blacks believing they are inferior. These detrimental perceptions serve as one of the many reasons why Bigger cannot be himself when he goes to the Daltons’ house. He can only act as the subservient black man he has seen…show more content…
Bigger says he does not want the media to make a “sport” (Wright 276) out of him, but this is exactly what happens. The media exploits Bessie’s body during the inquest and they try to force Bigger to reenact his actions in Mary’s room. This is pointless since everyone knows that Bigger’s fate and guilt have already been decided; demonstrating what he did to Mary would just be another way to sensationalize the story for the reporters to sell more papers. By turning his trial and crimes into a big spectacle, it lessens the significance of what occurred, turning it into a strange form of entertainment for white society. Max highlights this in his plea on Bigger’s behalf stating that people’s “minds are already conditioned by the press of the nation; a press which has already reached a decision as to his guilt” (Wright 384). This “conditioning” by the media has presented people with exactly what they should think and feel about Bigger’s case, revealing the immense, yet dangerous power the press has. The reader gets the impression that Bigger’s trial is not an attempt to serve justice properly, but to create an exhibition for the public. The satirized press reports are all full of hyperbole, with capitalized headlines using mob-inciting phrases such as “NEGRO KILLER” or “RAPIST” (Wright 341). These reporters want to convince the public that Bigger is a…show more content…
Nixon was charged with murdering five women by beating them with bricks, much in the same way Bigger kills Bessie. In the newspaper articles found within the novel, Wright uses many direct phrases from the real articles written during the Nixon trial such as “He has none of the charm of speech or manner that is characteristic of so many southern darkies” or “Only death can cure him” (Leavelle). Wright does this as a means of drawing a realistic portrayal of the media, yet readers can still see that it also functions as a critique. The reader knows the statements presented as facts about Bigger in the papers are not true since the narrator has explained his thoughts and feelings, but the characters in the novel have not had this insight and are prepared to believe anything the media tells them. Due to this privileged knowledge, the reader can clearly why Wright is criticizing this kind of destructive reporting coupled with the blind acceptance of society to believe whatever the media

    More about Trader Horn Film Analysis

      Open Document