Native Son

In the novel Native Son the author, Richard Wright, conveys the attitudes and the feelings of the characters very effectively. The characters actions represent their personality and their approach and view of life. This concept is best demonstrated throught the character traits of the main character Bigger Thomas. Therefore Bigger's actions are justified by the emotions that stem from his view upon life and society. Brought up in a poor black community, Bigger has been exposed to such ideas of white supremacy because blacks were denied opportunities of advancement and the opportunity to prove themselves intelligent and capable of becoming more than survants. This surfaces in the novel when Giffer and his friend Gus watch a sky writing plane. "I could fly a plane if I had the chance," Bigger said with Gus replying, "If you wasn't black and if you had some money and if they'd let you go to that aviation school, you could fly a plane." During this conversation the two boys imply the impossibility of achievement in a world dominated by whites. Then later Bigger responds by saying, "Maybe they right in not wanting us to fly, 'cause it I took a plane up I'd take a couple bombs along and drop'em sure as hell..." By saying this Bigger reflects the feeling that he feels frustrated and angry with the whites for how they cna simply deny them certain opportunities. This also proves something of hes attitude and his emotions toward white society, in that he knows the boundaries set between the race of whites and blacks. Fear represents an even larger factor in the definition of his personality in the instance of the murder of the Dalton's Daughter Mary. Early on when he meets Mary he expresses he hate for her as a result of Mary and her friend Jan treating him like an equal. Mary and Jan are trying to convince Bigger to come in and eat with them, but Bigger is puzzled by their behavior and refuses only to be confronted with more pressure from Mary and Jan. "Bigger felt trapped. Oh goddamn! He saw in a flash that he could have made all of this very easy if he had simply acted from the beginning as if they were doing nothing unusual. But he didn't trust them; he distrusted them, really hated them." When Bigger does murder Mary he didn't do so out of his anger for her but out of his fear that courses through his body at that particular time and he can't control his own actions. "He turned and a hysterical terror siezed him, as though he were falling from a great height in a dream. A white blur was standing by the door, silent, ghostlike. It filled his eyes and gripped his body. It was Mrs. Dalton." "Mary's body surged upward and he pushed downward upon the pillow with all of his weight, determinded that she must not move or make any sound that would betray him." "His muscles flexed taut as steel and he pressed the pillow, feeling the bed give slowly, evenly, but silently. Then suddenly her fingernails did not bite into his wrists. Mary's fingers loosened. He did not feel her surging and heaving against him. Her body was still." These series of thoughts rushing through Bigger's mind explains that he did not murder Mary out of rage or anger as a result of the resturant insidence, but out of fear of being discovered by her mother. So he tired to help by keeping her quiet and not revealing his presence but in the process accidnetally killing her. Richard Wright conveyed the emotions of all the characters in the book very clearly by demonstrating the motives behind each action, which in turn revealed to you an overwhelming sense of the characters feelings and personality. As a result of this, I believe the characters in the novel accented its integrity, therefore I believe teh strong point of the book to be the characterization. ( If you are a student at Garrett High School don't use this because I attend there also and have already used it. The teacher WILL know!)