Native Son Bigger Thomas Essay Research Paper

Native Son Bigger Thomas Essay, Research Paper

It is also Bigger s fault

In the third and last book of Richard Wright s novel Native Son, the main

character Bigger Thomas changes a lot, he must be able to realize, at

least partially, some of his own failures for which he had blamed the

society that surrounded him and produced his character.

From the beginning of the novel Bigger is fighting a raging war between

himself and the outside white world. After he murders Mary Dalton he

feels stronger. He sees Mary Dalton as a personification of the white

society that surrounded him and that he suffered under. One example for

this is that he keeps on repeating, white folks got everything and we got

nothing . As a result of this Bigger is brutal and aggressive against

whites. In most of his conflicts he serves as the aggressor, for example in

the pool room where he starts a fight.

Wright s thesis is that Bigger Thomas is there to show the reader a

portrait of a man and the reason he revolts. Bigger Thomas isn t a sole

character, he represents a large faction of the blacks in America in the

beginning of the last century. He stands for all black men who cannot be

conditioned by the white man s laws.

In the third and last book of this novel this picture of Bigger Thomas

starts to change. Now Richard Wright allows Bigger Thomas to face

some of the realities of life, but at the same time, does not destroy all of

Bigger Thomas concepts about the evil of racism and its effects upon the

black experience.

When Bigger Thomas is finally brought to court and confronted with the

white crowd his will to live rises up again, after he had been depressed

for a long time. This is made obvious in the third book in sentences like

this, Bigger was starring straight before him,… . His talking to Max had

evoked again in him that urge to talk, to tell, to try to make his feelings


At the end of the novel Bigger Thomas is an existential man. He is alone,

yet able to comfort himself in the face of death because he takes the

individual s responsibility of being what he is. One of the last things he

says it, I m all right. For real I am.


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