Well guys welcome back to blog! As you guys seen last time, I have completed the novel Native Son. Richard Wright did an incredible job creating Bigger Thomas as a product of society. Now that I have finished the novel, I will talk to you guys about the novel Native Son as a whole.
Richard Wright creates a story with the rising problem of racism and poverty in America, which are themes that has polluted our history. Everyday we see something new dealing with these two topics across headlines of newspapers and social media. These two topics are made to seem unimportant and ineffaceable, but we know they are not.
Wright does a good job merging his narrative voice into Bigger. By doing this, readers can feel how racism affects the thoughts, feelings, self-image, and life of a African-American. He has made Bigger a product of American imperialism. He is mankind’s greatest tragedy. The mass oppression that filters through all aspects of the lives of the oppressed and the oppressor. Because of this, this creates a world of misunderstanding and suffering. The novel is filled with an abundant amount of imagery of the hostile white world. Richard Wright shows how Bigger’s feelings, behavior, and thoughts is affected by the whites.
“Every time I think about it I feel like somebody’s poking a red-hot iron down my throat…We live here and they live there. We black and they white. They got things and we ain’t. They do things and we can’t…I feel like I’m on the outside the world peeping in through a knot-hole in the fence…”
Bigger feels constricted by the world around him. He feels like he cannot do anything and it’s all because of the white world. Bigger knows something awful will eventually happen and it’s inevitable.
Now we ask ourselves how does this relate to our world today. Well what is racism exactly? Racism is the belief that characteristics and abilities can be attributed to people based on their race and that some races are held to be superior than others. Because of this, racism and discrimination have been used as powerful weapons that encourage fear or hatred of others in times of conflict.
Racism is like a cancer. It spreads throughout society causing pain and even death. We see examples of racism in our everyday life. Some examples are the Trayvon Martin story, the Texas Shooting, and the Colin Kaepernick scandal.
All three events have affected society one by one. In all three incidents someone’s life was either taken or greatly impacted. In the Trayvon Martin case, we see a young African-American boy get fatally shot because of racial profiling. This relates to the book because though Bigger did kill Mary, they automatically thought it was due to him raping her. They assume this because he’s black. They choose to believe that all blacks are wasteful human beings that don’t bring anything but trouble. The Texas shooting gunman’s reasoning has yet to be declared, but we all know it was because of the hatred he held towards African-Americans. In the story, Buckley is the character who comes to mind when I try to relate this tragic event to the novel. He was a character who disliked blacks. He tried to convict Bigger of crimes in he did not commit in order to trial him for Mary’s murder. Colin Kaepernick was a man who willingly refused to stand for the national anthem. When asked why, Kaepernick says he did it for the wrongdoings held against African-Americans and minorities in the United States. By doing this, Kaepernick reminds me of Max, which is Bigger’s attorney. Like Max, Kaepernick stood up for what he believed in though it deemed not right. He also faced social backlash from the people who did not approve of his decisions just like Max when he took Bigger’s case.
All in all, the novel Native Son really was an insight to a recurring problem in the United States. Bigger strived to find a place in the world around him. The harshness of the naturalistic society Wright writes him keeps him from doing so. In book one, Wright writes, “these were the rhythms of his life: indifference and violence; periods of abstract brooding and periods of intense desire; moments of anger…..like water ebbing and flowing from the tug of a far-away, invisible force.” Richard Wright showed us that Bigger is controlled by the forces he cannot understand. Society is bearing down on him and Bigger feels like he cannot throw off the weight of oppression and misunderstanding. We know understands as readers that Bigger’s acts of violence in his crimes are, in effect, a quest for a soul. He longs for an identity this is solely his. The white community as well as the black community has taken his identity, individuality, and dignity away from him. With this, Richard Wright has created an incredible novel.
We are now at the end of this road. Thank you guys for coming on this journey to explore the novel Native Son with me. It truly made me dig deeper in order to fully understand what was going on. I hope my blog leads you guys to read and explore your own ideas of the novel, and to anyone who is questioning whether or not to read it, I truly encourage you to do so. Until next time! See ya!