"Native Son", by Richard Wright - Essay Title: Bigger's Progression

Essay by HumbickHigh School, 11th gradeA-, February 2003

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Throughout Native Son, by Richard Wright, Bigger Thomas, the protagonist, transforms from a hateful and violent rebel to an understanding, transcendental person. Right from the start, Bigger was a person who had little control over his life and his actions. His life was mainly controlled by his mother, who would encourage Bigger to go out and get a legible job in order to support the family. Bigger's actions were controlled by his fear, as he would display a strong sense of violence whenever he was afraid. As Bigger evolved throughout the novel, his actions were considerably altered according to the situation that he was in.

In Fear, the first section of Native Son, Bigger shows a lot of fear towards white people, in general. Rather than separating certain white people and classifying them individually, Bigger views white people as a whole; as a race that is an enemy out to get him.

Bigger's fear, at the beginning of the novel, is completely uncontrollable. When Bigger is afraid, he immediately responds to his fear by showing anger and violence. Bigger killed a rat in his single room, overpriced apartment in a rundown tenement building, and showed a sincere amount of rage due to his fear of the rat. He also shows a lot of fear while being hired by the Dalton family. Before his interview, Bigger showed a sense of insecurity as he did not know which entrance to use to enter the house. He was also worried about a police officer seeing him in this white neighborhood and accusing him of trying to rob somebody. Finally, Bigger shows the strongest sense of his uncontrollable fear when he murders Mary, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Dalton. Throughout the night, Mary and her communist boyfriend, Jan, try to treat Bigger as...