Running head: NATIVE SON
Native Son is a story by Richard Wright originally published in 1940 at a time when
Racism was on the rise in America. The main characters in the story are Bigger Thomas, Jan,
Henry Dalton, Mrs. Thomas and Mary Dalton. Bigger Thomas, a poor young black man, is the
character of focus in the story. He experiences racism at its best in almost all his day to day
activities. During that time, people of color were labelled as extremely uncivilized, brutal and illmannered. They were viewed as second class citizens who could not associate or share public
facilities with the whites. Bigger Thomas was close with a white girl named Mary Dalton;
associating with white people was considered like an abomination; Thomas dreaded being caught
with her. Eventually, Thomas murders Mary and is caught and given capital punishment
primarily due to the fact that he was of color and trespassing the white’s property. The most
evident theme in the story is that of racism.
According Wright (2016) “White policemen never really searched diligently for Negroes
who committed crimes against other Negroes.” Bigger and his friends avoided to steal from a
white man’s store as they knew that the police would easily find them as they were vigilant on
crimes committed on whites; subsequently, they resorted to planning a robbery on a black man’s
store as the police would not follow up on them. The people of color were offensively referred to
as ‘Negros’, they did not enjoy equal citizenship rights as the whites; the police only offered
security to whites; second class citizens were not entitled to security as they were regarded
barbaric. This was a high from of discrimination that resul...
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