Blindness in Richard Wright's Native Son Essay

870 Words4 Pages
Blindness in Richard Wright's Native Son Does it seem sometimes as if people are ignorant to other feelings? Have you ever had a friend get away with something or toy with someone's thoughts to benefit him or her? Similar types of blindness occur in the novel Native Son by Richard Wright (1940). The story starts in the Great Depression with a poor black family waking up to a foot long rat in their one room apartment. Bigger, the main character, and his younger brother Buddy narrowly kill it without bodily harm. Bigger is supposed to start a job for a rich white man as a chauffeur. Bigger has never really interacted with white people before and is not wanting to be there. After an accident on his first day, he kills the man's daughter…show more content…
'Bigger do you belong to a union' she asked...He hated the girl then...She's making me lose my job!" (Page 53). This unfamiliar white girl walks right up to him and starts speaking about things he knows white men hate. This makes him scared about losing his job and he instantly views her as a threat that makes him feel guiltier about being black than the normal. Later, when Mary has him drive and pick up her boyfriend, they don't see that by interacting with him like a normal person could make him hate them, "He heard Mary laughing softly...He flushed warm with anger. Goddam her soul to hell! Was she laughing at him?...He was very conscious of his black skin" (page 67). At this time, Jan, the boyfriend, is shaking Bigger's hand and Bigger thinks he is doing it to make him more conscience of him being black and hates them both for it. They make matters worse by sitting on both sides of him and having Bigger take them to an all-black restaurant. It is apparent to the reader that they want to help them. However, they get some strange satisfaction by seeing and being around blacks, and they don't want to fully 'experience' what it is to be black. They don't come anywhere near to understanding their yearning and despair. They seem to be entertained and are blind to the reality of being black. Most likely the largest part 'blindness' plays in the novel is Mrs. Dalton. Mrs. Dalton is literally blind and

More about Blindness in Richard Wright's Native Son Essay

Open Document