Native Son Character Analysis

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Richard Wright, author of Native Son, commences the novel with an introduction of the morning routine of the African-American protagonist, Bigger Thomas, showing that he lives in a rat-infested one bedroom apartment with his mother, brother, and sister. These poor living conditions demonstrate to the reader one of the many struggles African-Americans face living in a predominately Caucasian society that judges their race by fallacious stereotypes given due to the color of their skin. As a result of these erroneous stereotypes, Bigger believes his destiny is already predetermined by the belief of others and is in no control of changing the future events that will occur in his life (Wright 23). Correspondingly, this leads to the overall…show more content…
Dalton. The Daltons are first introduced when Bigger’s mother, Mrs. Thomas, attempts to persuade Bigger to become a chauffeur for the Dalton family in order to attain money to help the Thomas family move to a more suitable apartment. Although he is hesitant, Bigger eventually agrees to take on the job after meeting with Mr. Dalton. However, Bigger feels an intense feeling of vexation during this meeting with his future employer. As Bigger searches for a paper given to him by the relief agency, the author writes, “[Bigger] hated himself at that moment. Why was he acting and feeling this way? He wanted to wave his hand and blot out the white man who was making him feel this. If not that, he wanted to blot himself out” (Wright 47). In this quote, Bigger loathes Mr. Dalton, a Caucasian man, for making him, an African-American, stammer and feel impotent not by actions, but rather simply having the color of Mr. Dalton’s skin speak for himself. Although Mr. Dalton acts benevolent towards him, Bigger sees his actions as nothing more than a facade hiding the privileged, hostile authority society has given to his oppressor. For this reason, this leads Bigger to violent outbursts such as the murder of Mr. Dalton’s daughter, Mary Dalton, in order to feel a sense of control for once in his life whilst also serving as a reflection of the man vs. society conflict throughout the novel.
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