1Aliyah RawlesDr.StoddartSeminar Pp.122 March 2020In Richard Wright’s Native Sonwe are introduced to the protagonist Bigger by a jarring opening paragraph. His mere name is revealed to represent a double entendre: he is both bigger than the physical aspect of himself, and his mentality. The book begins portraying Bigger Thomas as physically dominant, agile, and confident in his motor skills enough to be able to mana plane. As the book progresses forward, we see it is this same strength that denotes a fear in himself. His physical appearance is a black young man, and though he has all of these qualities to assert a sense of control around his impoverished neighborhood (this is established through hisinteractions within his friend group and family), he ultimately distrusts these very same qualities about himself and muddles his own consciousness with perverse intentions to camouflage his true identity (this can be seen when he is extracted from his immediate environment and placed amidst the Daltons.)Continuing, it is when Bigger’s mental state becomes convoluted by thoughts of Bigger outperforming his perceived self that he begins reaching new heights, both figuratively and literally. On the one hand, he is seen (even if it appears to modern audiences as backhanded) as being of need of the benefit of the doubt by the Daltons upon initial acquaintance, once Mary is murdered, and after they figure out that he devised the crime. What this does is set Bigger up for a wider perception, and an enlarged reaction by others. Mostly meaning that the Daltons have a need for Bigger as their chauffeur, and this enlarges his role in life (his own, and theirs) and enlarges his ego. When Mary is murdered he is still considered to be essential, because he controls the situation, as he is the only person who knows what truly ensued with Mary Dalton
2that night. Then after the crime is traced to him he makes himself culpable by jumping out the window once Mary’s heirloom earring is discovered (along with her bones), and although the Dalton’s no longer help him they continue to provide charity to Chicago’s black youth. In the same essence, he is seen as being bigger than simply a small ratio to the collective minorities in Chicago, but bigger’s fluidity in being a protagonist is that he remains the American collective, and his demise is representative of the country’s future should they ignorantly press forward withthe specific class and race distinctions/discriminations that at that time and unfortunately continue to stymie the desolated communities and higher ups alike in our current American climate. However, this does not come into fruition until Bigger is incarcerated.