How Is Bigger Thomas Search For Identity

1726 Words7 Pages
Bigger Thomas is the protagonist of ‘Native Son’. The title itself proclaims the identity of Bigger Thomas as discovered by the novelist himself. Bigger Thomas might have doubts over his Nationality, whether he was an African or an American. The novelist pronounces him to be an American, a Native Son. So the search for identity made by Bigger Thomas comes to an end in the minds of the novelist and his readers. Bigger Thomas was none other than what Richard Wright might have become if he had not saved himself. Like Wright, Bigger had passed his boyhood in Jackson, Mississippi. His father had been killed during a riot and his mother-a hard-working, hymn-singing woman, like wright’s mother, had brought up the family as best as she could. They had moved from Mississippi to the Southern Part of Chicago when Bigger was fifteen. Bigger’s search for identity begins only from then onwards. As Nick Aaron Ford states, “Wright’s major purpose in this novel was to show that social and economic barriers against race lead to grave injustices toward racial minorities and that those injustices so distort character and personality growth that criminal monstrosities, such as Bigger, are produced”.…show more content…
His tussle with the law only indicates his struggle for acquiring an identity. He thinks that he can atleast find his identity as a criminal. A Mississippi newspaper editor gives an unfriendly description of Bigger Thomas. According to him, Thomas comes of a poor Black family of a shiftless and immoral variety. He was raised there and is known to local residents as an irreformable sneak thief and liar. They were unable to send him to the chain gang because of his extreme youth. Bigger had been accused of stealing tires and sent to a Southern reform school. He had not really done anything wrong. He had been with some boys and the police had picked them
Get Access