Books and Movies Reviews

Native Son

Any opinion I have on this book has to be based on Bigger Thomas. Various forces have shaped him. Forces that have changed the life completely for Bigger Thomas. In Native Son, Bigger Thomas seems to be composed of a mass of disruptive emotions rather than a rational mind joined by a soul. Bigger strives to find a place for himself, but the blindness he encounters in those around him and the bleak harshness of the Naturalistic society that Wright presents the reader with close him out as effectively as if they had shut a door in his face. Bigger is controlled by forces that he cannot fully understand. Bigger’s many acts of violence are, in effect, a quest for a soul. He desires an identity that is his alone. Both the white and the black communities have robbed him of dignity, identity, and individuality.
The human side of the city is closed to him, and for the most part Bigger relates more to the faceless mass of the buildings and the mute body of the city than to another human being. His mother’s philosophy of suffering to wait for a later reward is equally stagnating to Bigger it appears that she is weak and will not fight to live. Her religion is blindness but she needs to be blind in order to survive, to fit into a society that would drive a person mad. All of the characters that Bigger says are blind are living in darkness because the light is too painful. Bigger wants to break through that blindness, to discover something of worth in him. Just as Bigger later hides himself amidst the catacombs of the old buildings, many people hide themselves deep within their minds in order to bear the ordeal of life and the oppression of an uncaring society. But their blindness allows them something that Bigger cannot achieve. Bigger is isolated from every facet of human affection. Max tells the court that Bigger cannot kill because he himself is dead, and a person without empathy or