Essay about THE DESTRUCTIVE EFFECTS OF RACISM ON BIGGER THOMAS

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THE DESTRUCTIVE EFFECTS OF RACISM ON BIGGER THOMAS

THESIS: Bigger Thomas represents the black man’s condition and his revolt against the injustices of the white caste society.

When one looks at the contribution of blacks in the world of American literature, Richard Wright is considered one of the great contributors. Truly one of his books which highlights the black’s view of American society has to be Native Son. In Native Son, Richard Wright creates the characterization of “native sons” who are products of American civilization. From his own life experience, he portrays in Bigger Thomas a combination of character traits that illustrate persons who have lost meaning in their lives. Bigger Thomas represents the black man’s
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That’s the truth...I hurt folks ‘cause I felt I had to; that’s all. They were crowding me too close; they wouldn’t let me...Mr. Max, I didn’t mean to do what I did. I was trying to do something else” [sic] (Smith 393).

In Native Son, fear and hate are determining factors in Bigger’s life. The root of all of Bigger’s fears is realization of what he, as a black man, has to endure and will become (Margolies Art 2). Bigger attacks his friends because he thinks that they can see his fear. By attacking them, he gives himself a false sense of courage (Margolies Study 76). He accidentally kills Mary Dalton because he is afraid that her mother will accuse him of sexually assaulting Mary. He also shows fear by burning her body so that no one will find it (Smith 392).

Bigger hates the fact that his black skin keeps him from having the opportunities and luxuries of the white world. “I could fly a plane if I had a chance, ‘Bigger said. ‘If you wasn’t black and if you had some money and if they’d let you go to aviation school, you could fly a plane,’ Gus said” [sic] (Wright Native 20). He hates to be reminded of this condition and hates those who do remind him. White people constantly remind Bigger that he cannot succeed (Discovering 5). “I feel like somebody’s poking a red-hot iron down my throat. Goddammit, look! We live here and they live there. We black and they white. They got things and we don’t. They
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