Native Son Richard Wright is the author of the novel, Native Son. By writing the novel, he wanted to awaken America to the realities of the relationship between blacks and whites in the controversial 1930s. When he wrote this novel, it caused many disputes among Americans. Many people thought that some of the issues Wright included in his novel were not appropriate to write about. Richard Wright believed that even the bad parts of America should be seen, though. This story takes place in Chicago, Illinois in the late 1930s.
The main character is Bigger Thomas. He is a twenty year old black man who lives in a one-room apartment with his mother, sister, and brother. The part of town they live in is infested with crime, and most of the buildings are dilapidated. Bigger believes that he could never get far in life because of his being an inferior black man in a”white” world. Bigger wants to help support his family, so he decides to apply for a job as a chauffeur. He is hired by a millionaire named Henry Dalton, who allows Bigger to live in his house. Mr.
Dalton and his wife, who is blind, always try to help their employees succeed in life. Everything goes well for a while until one night when Mr. Daltons teenage daughter, Mary, gets drunk. Bigger carries Mary to her room after she falls down while climbing the stairs. While Bigger is in Marys room, Mrs.
Dalton comes to check in on her. Although Mrs. Dalton wouldnt be able to see Bigger in Marys room, he is afraid that Mary might make a noise and Mrs. Dalton might think that he is raping her daughter. In his terror, Bigger covers Marys face with a pillow and accidentally smothers her.
When Bigger sees that he killed Mary, he freaks out, chops up her body with an ax, and hides it in the furnace downstairs. Although he acts out of fear and doesnt know what he is doing, Bigger still feels a sense of control that hes never felt before. Bigger leads everyone to believe that Marys Communist friend, Jan, kidnapped her. Nobody suspects Bigger until one day, when the remains of her body are found in the furnace. He gets his girlfriend, Bessie, involved to help him get money and run away, but he kills her to avoid betrayal. Bigger is finally caught by the police and put on trial. During the course of the trial, he is amazed to find that Jan has forgiven him for all that he did.
He cant believe that a white man actually treats him like a human being. Bigger is convicted of murder and ultimately pays with his life to learn that all humans are equal. I love this book! It shows the true story of how hard it can be to live in a prejudiced society. This novel is full of suspense and is really able to stir up controversies within oneself. I would definitely recommend this book to people.