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Native Son by Richard Wright is a novel written about a black boy trying to grow up in a white man’s world. Bigger, the main charter, is growing up in a typical black neighborhood. He is the only man of the house so he must help his mother support them. In this novel it is important to understand that Bigger is prone to violence. In every tough situation he gets stuck in he refers to a violent action. This can be seen by the way he treats his friends and family.
Richard Nathaniel Wright was born on September 4, 1908 on a Mississippi plantation. During Wright’s childhood he was often hungry. This allowed Wright to write passionately and eloquently about the meaning of suffering in the lives of oppressed and exploited people because that suffering was an integral part of his own life. The Communist Party had been the only one to take a deep interest in Wright’s life and had at one time offered to teach him to write. Richard Wright died on November 28, 1960, at the age of 52 in Paris.
I feel that Max had the most influence on Bigger. Max helped Bigger realize what he had done wrong and how that not all white people were out to get the black man. At times Bigger felt that Max was only trying to hurt him but I think that deep down inside, Bigger knew Max was only there to help him.
Max looked out for Bigger’s best wishes. Max knew that if Bigger had testified the lawyers would have pounded him with questions and made him seem more guilty that he already was. I also think that it showed Bigger that Max cared about him and showed Bigger that he was going to help him though the trial.
Max showed not only the court, but the nation as a whole, that there is no way that Bigger can receive a fair trial. Bigger and Max both know this. I also think that Bigger knows he is going to die Max is the only one trying to help him. Max is trying to do the impossible. That is make a black man innocent in a white man’s court.
Max not only had a major influence on Bigger, but he was one of the only people that cared about him and did not judge him by the color of his skin. I think that Max had a significant influence on the judge even though Bigger did receive the death penalty.
Jan, I think, is too forgiving to be realistic. How can a man that was just lied about be questioning his accuser on what was said about him? If I were Jan, I would want to kill Bigger for making up the whole story and lying about me. Jan not only forgives Bigger, but he wants to help Bigger by getting him a lawyer to defend Bigger in court.
Jan wants to have his friend Max help him in court. How could any human being be this forgiving? Jan was not only accused of the crime but he was directly involved in it because of Mary being his girlfriend.
At the beginning of Book II Bigger is struggling to come to reality that he has in fact killed Mary. He also must face the fact that he had killed and that he killed a white women. Subconsciously he denies killing Mary but I know that Bigger knows he killed her.
Bigger knows that he has killed Mary. He was trying to prefect his story to the best of his ability but he is unable to comprehend that this is all very real and that he is in serious trouble.
How does Bigger think that the murders he committed were Mary’s and Bessie’s fault? Bigger knows that he has killed two people, but for Bigger’s own sanity he tries to blame the two women. Bigger feels that it was Mary’s fault and that he had to smother her with a pillow when she came home drunk after making him eat and drink with her after he didn’t want to. When he killed Mary, he had to kill her because it was Bessie that kept nagging him to tell her of his scheme. Bigger felt that he had to kill these two women.
In Native Son Bigger is looking for freedom in things that he is allowed to do. Bigger wants to be allowed to do the same things as the white man. Bigger has always been told that he cannot hold certain jobs in this world. Both Bigger and Edna wanted things that neither of them would see in their lifetimes.
My opinion of this book is very good. I enjoyed reading Native Son. I was amazed with the graphic descriptions of how Richard Wright could describe how Bigger killed Mary and stuffed her in the furnace. Wright captured and held my attention throughout the entire novel. I hated the way the book ended though I thought that somehow it would go on and say that somehow, someway Bigger would get out of the death penalty. I feel that Max in his closing statement made an accurate description of what Bigger was feeling at the time that he murdered both Mary and Bessie.
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