Bigger




Richard Wright is the author of the novel, Native Son. By writing the
novel, he wanted to awaken America to the realities of the relationship
between blacks and whites in the controversial 1930s. When he wrote
this novel, it caused many disputes among Americans. Many people
thought that some of the issues Wright included in his novel were not
appropriate to write about. Richard Wright believed that even the bad
parts of America should be seen, though.
This story takes place in Chicago, Illinois in the late 1930s. The
main character is Bigger Thomas. He is a twenty year old black man
who lives in a one-room apartment with his mother, sister, and brother.
The part of town they live in is infested with crime, and most of the
buildings are dilapidated. Bigger believes that he could never get far in
life because of his being an inferior black man in a “white” world.
Bigger wants to help support his family, so he decides to apply for
a job as a chauffeur. He is hired by a millionaire named Henry Dalton,
who allows Bigger to live in his house. Mr. Dalton and his wife, who is
blind, always try to help their employees succeed in life. Everything
goes well for a while until one night when Mr. Dalton’s teenage
daughter, Mary, gets drunk. Bigger carries Mary to her room after she
falls down while climbing the stairs. While Bigger is in Mary’s room,
Mrs. Dalton comes to check in on her. Although Mrs. Dalton wouldn’t
be able to see Bigger in Mary’s room, he is afraid that Mary might make
a noise and Mrs. Dalton might think that he is raping her daughter. In
his terror, Bigger covers Mary’s face with a pillow and accidentally
smothers her.
When Bigger sees that he killed Mary, he freaks out, chops up her
body with an ax, and hides it in the furnace downstairs. Although he
acts out of fear and doesn’t know what he is doing, Bigger still feels a
sense of control that he’s never felt before. Bigger leads everyone to
believe that Mary’s Communist friend, Jan, kidnapped her. Nobody
suspects Bigger until one day, when the remains of her body are found in
the furnace. He gets his girlfriend, Bessie, involved to help him get
money and run away, but he kills her to avoid betrayal. Bigger is finally
caught by the police and put on trial. During the course of the trial, he is
amazed to find that Jan has forgiven him for all that he did. He can’t
believe that a white man actually treats him like a human being. Bigger
is convicted of murder and ultimately pays with his life to learn that all
humans are equal.
I love this book! It shows the true story of how hard it can be to
live in a prejudiced society. This novel is full of suspense and is really
able to stir up controversies within oneself. I would definately
recommend this book to people.

















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