Narrative and a Penetrating Analysis of Richard Wright's Native son
In the 1930s, during the time the book takes place, many African Americans are recovering from the impact of the Great Depression, which caused poverty to become one of the most leading factors throughout the country mainly impacting most African Americans. Throughout the novel, the author Richard Wright uses a profound way of establishing the interesting views and actions that are forth taken by the main character Bigger, and the other actions that are engaged within the story’s setting in able to help understand the true struggle of living in the late 1930s. Richard Write writes about the different obstacles that are faced among being African Americans living in poverty through a Biggers perspective. With the author growing up in the same lifestyle as the main character, he tries to maintain a balance of how his life was and composes it as Biggers lifestyle. Although the author writes a novel of an undesirable criminal that goes through many depicting obstacles in life, he initially changes his tactic to help find ways to exemplify the inner thoughts and emotions that are further conveyed by Bigger throughout the story.
In between each plot the author finds a way to establish a third-person narrative to utilize the interactions between Bigger which reveal his feelings and judgments to help the reader understand why his emotions lead him to make uncontrollable actions. Throughout the book one and two, Wright expresses Biggers timid, weak, frightening, and unbearable feelings towards white people. Subsequently being born in an impoverished area were racial discrimination and racial segregation play the main role throughout everyone’s lives, helps the reader recognize the oppression that white men has over African Americans which makes him feel treacherous. The south side of Chicago where Bigger and his family live is divided by the “color line” which separates African Americans from the whites, but not only in color but religion also. Due to this tension, it adds the fuel of hatred and disgust throughout the city and creates an intentioned fear within Bigger to make him feel as if he is trapped even being outside his home that already symbols a jail cell, that being so small and cramped. In book one bigger says, “We back and they white. They got things and we ain't. They do things and we can’t. It’s just like living in jail. Half the time I feel like I’m on the outside of the world peeping in through a knot- hole in the fence…”. Already being uncomfortable talking and being around white, Bigger takes the job to drive the Dalton family around which is extremely unremarkable, despite everything with the pay it does just fine.
However, when one of Dalton's daughters Mary becomes intoxicated, Bigger is forced to make life-threatening motifs which cause Bigger to be in many predicaments. He is then faced with the blind mother who walks into the room and instantly Bigger begins to panic because he realizes that he is in a room with an unconscious white woman, and begins to think about all the possible accusations that would be made if caught. “He wanted to knock her out the way and bolt from the room”. He’s intuition starts to kick in which causes him to feel irritable to get his way out of this situation any way as possible. “He held his hand over her mouth and his head was clocked at an angle that enabled him Mary and Mrs. Dalton by merely shifting his eyes. Mary mumbles and tried to rise again, frantically he caught a corner of pillow and put it to her mouth…”. Eventually, this reality leads to him try to cover up his mistake only to make it worst in the end. His uncontrollable withstands caused him to dig deeper in the hole making it harder for him to cover it.
In ending of book two and the beginning of book three, a crowd of angry white men and women stand and shout racial slurs at him to try demolish his self-esteem. The author uses forceful diction within the book to express the penetrating hatred within the characters to appeal to the reader’s perspective of provoking an inferior status. Relating back to the rat which symbolized both entrapments and to be implemented, it comes back to haunt Biggers fate from the beginning of the book. Just as the rat comes into Biggers house which is intruding normally like a predator it soon becomes the prey, just like Bigger being in the middle of the mob.
He then becomes trapped just like in the scene of him being confronted by the mob. “Round him surged a sea of noise. He opened his eyes a little and saw an array of faces, white and looming…’Lynch ‘I’m, Kill ‘I’m”. The slurs that are shouted among the people are overpowering him making him as if he isn’t already crushed by the animosity of the words that are shouted at him. Just like the rat in which was forced to surrender and give up without will and soon kilt, just like Bigger. “Kill that black ape!”, the “Black ape” has several meaning, but this term which is used in this setting to use to exemplify the belief of what the whites believe of African Americans. The ape being big, black and nasty is what the whites would symbolize for African Americans. Since whites believed that African Americans were from the decent of animals, we were socialized as being biologically inferior to whites knowing that we were closer to that species decent. This form of anger and profound hatred aided in the convection of Bigger and later caused him to be executed. “Now, Bigger, be a good bot. Just relax and take it easy”.
Although speech is impassionate, it does little as to convince the audience to see why what actions were made, and try to see the outcome of why Bigger is who he is. In the end, the novel includes the distant arguing of Max’s opinion to mention the dissent of Bigger being from an animal decent is not true, neither is he infatuated with any ape. Throughout his life he is condemned of being something he’s not being that he’s just like another person just like any white person.
In Native son the author uses both narrative and penetrating analysis to keep the audience amused and to make sure the plot is continuing to move forward. This also helps balance the writing out within the novel to help portray and explain the significance and how it plays a huge role within each setting. Wright's interactions to make sure both Biggers and the characters that are introduced to the reader to reveal their personal thoughts and emotions towards each other. A narrative novel helps the reader to develop a well-rounded perspective on the settings that are taken place within each plot. This also assists to express to the reader what he/she wants us to know. We may only be allowed to know what one character is thinking and feeling, and that is third-person limited. Being able to actually see what the author's thought process on many of the entertaining emotions that Bigger foreshadows. The ability to use unbearable words and phrases within the story appeals the author's emotional withdrawal.” Bigger dropped the paper, stretched out upon the cot and closed his eyes. It was the same thing over and over again. What was the use of reading it?”. This helps the reader fixate on the point that Bigger is able to realize that his final destination is coming to an end. You can tell the author is allowing the character to relax and take his final walk to the end, which ends up being the electric chair. As the reader you already know the outcome, however, the actual character doesn’t. That’s the purpose of a third narrative perspective.
Richard Wright concludes his argument that Biggers life is a miserably game that unfortunately is placed into the wrong hands of which then offsets the impacts of Bigger being where he is at the end of the novel. Although he tries to convince the audience to see the greater good in him, the people in the courtroom are filled with so much hatred that it makes it unable to hear Biggers side of the story. Biggers speech, even though unsuccessfully forth taken into consideration, is unable to win in his favor. Still, it holds many rhetorical strategies such as simile, ethos, cause and effect. This then contributes support which helps relate his position in life to how many others may also stand in the society that we all live in, “…we do have in the Negro the embodiment of a past tragic enough to appease the spiritual hunger of even a James, and we have in the oppression of the Negro a shadow athwart our national life dense and heavy enough to satisfy even the gloomy broodings of a Hawthorne”. The way Bigger grew up and how he was able to get through his daily lifestyle explains how this pathway was able to lead himself into his death bed, “hearing the ring of the steel against steel”. With Bigger not having the opportunity to be able to control himself around white, it was well understood knowing that he wasn’t able to grow up around any white people, that’s why he was uncomfortable with being with Mary, so hence the fact that she was killed. Therefore, the way you grow up and the people that help you become the person you are can influence the way you make the challenging decisions in life.