Irrationality is Justified
In order to protect the rest of society one might find it logical that if injustice acts or mistakes are committed against the law, there should be consequences. Some believe that such irrational behavior must be unjustified; however Bigger Thomas?protagonist in the novel Native Son by Richard Wright?models otherwise. Richard Wright introduces Bigger Thomas, a troubled black man who is all at once a liar and a thief. He evokes sympathy for Bigger despite the fact that he commits murder in more than one occasion. Bigger Thomas is expressed as a young, black man who continually shocked the audience especially when he resulted as a killer with delusional and eccentric behavior. Wright instills compassion in the reader towards Bigger to help him delineate the desperate state of not one, but of all black Americans in the 1930?s. To society, he could be seen as monstrous but in his eyes, his actions were justified. Bigger?s behavior can be judged reasonable because it demonstrates a frustrated struggle to escape a world completely dominated by white people.
Initially, Bigger Thomas was viewed as the main character in the novel; however, he soon served as representation for the entire Negro population of the1930?s. During this time period, Bigger commits a crime; he has killed Mary Dalton, daughter of a white family?the Daltons? who recently gave him the job as their chauffeur, and his black girlfriend?Bessie Mears. Moreover, his irrational killings could be blamed on his background in a world of oppression; according to Martin Luther King Jr., ?all segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality? (Par 16, 574). Bigger grew up in Chicago Illinois where a dividing line was established; the same region bound by two ?different? parties?one white, the other black. At that instance, Jim Crow Laws dominate the region. The racial caste system favors the whites and makes them superior over blacks (MacKinney). Installed for almost a century, it is not seen as a law anymore, but as a way of life; a life in which most blacks ?never felt at home in their own land? (Bryant 157). With the segregation comes hatred that the whites bestow upon the impoverished. Bigger belongs to the black category; he lives ?cramped by his environment, limited to his education, and prevented from developing his native understanding and sensibility? (Bryant 158). Shame is brought upon the blacks as they view all in the possessions of the whites and the morsels they possess. For example, Bigger was devastated at the thought that only ?if Bigger were not black, if Bigger had money, if the whites let him go to aviation school, Bigger could fly a plane. The ?ifs? demonstrate that Bigger?s world lacks the things that the white world has? (Deena 134). The freedoms and liberties the whites enjoy are the reasons as to why the black society is held under oppression. Bigger and his family are witnesses of racial segregation and stereotyping taking place in which they are accustomed to habitat under governing of the whites. He has not lived his own life, rather a life in possession of the whites. All his life he has been told how to act, where to live, the extent of education he is allowed to receive, where to eat, and where and what kind of job he should consider . He was born into a world filled with prohibitions and an overall order of, ?Stay there!? (Wright 394). Consequently, Bigger believes his killing Mary is justified because of the emotions he feels as he completes the slicing of Mary?s head to fit her into the furnace. He kills her to save himself; he had actually cared about his value rather than Mary who was a major factor; she was white and he was black. It is not until he is called upon to make the choice between himself and Mary and her world that he recognizes the worth he has put upon his own life? (Bryant 161). Finally, he has discovered that he possesses the conscious to think about himself; his actions have allowed him to break free from the world he was held in captivity. Bigger begins to understand the true meaning of ?living.? His freedom is represented when he realizes he has the capability to make his own decisions. ?He becomes more finely aware of his