The Role Of Oppression In Richard Wright's Native Son

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How would you respond in a society full of standards that you know you had no chance of reaching because of limited opportunities? In Richard Wright 's native son the character of Bigger lives in an area which is strongly influenced by poverty and he has now way to change that, and instead of acting in a civil manner he takes the approach in which society gives him. In this society work opportunities were limited so this already puts him in the negative for him to provide for his family, and even proved for his own personal needs. The standards of this society prohibited any black male from being successful and furthered their possibilities of getting into any trouble. Bigger responds working with a white family and by breaking his oppression…show more content…
Bigger feels that the whites have the freedom and privilege to do everything. For example in the story Gus says “If you wasn’t black and if you had some money and if they’d let you go to aviation school, you could fly a plane.(17)” Gus is trying to explain to Bigger that in order for him to even try to get the knowledge of flying a plane he would have to be white. Another example of how Bigger responds to this oppression is by playing white not only to feel how it is to be white but express what he sees in how the whites live. In the book it states “Let’s play white, Bigger said, referring to a game of play-acting in which him in and his friends imitate the ways and manners of white folks.(17)” This actually gave the boys a sense of power that they can’t feel because the color of their…show more content…
To respond to this hatred towards whites Bigger kills a millionaires daughter, not on purpose but this was his way of killing his oppression. In the pages Bigger says “They might think he would steal a dime, rape a woman, get drunk, or cute somebody; but to kill a millionaire’s daughter and her burn her body? He smiled a little, a tingling sensation took over his body.(113)” Bigger now feels this sense of power and he has actually gotten a step higher over the whites by killing somebody who has power daughter. Further on Max describes in his testimony the hatred Bigger had built up from his oppression and how the whites overlooked it. In the story Max says “ In him and men like him is what was our forefathers when they first came to these strange shores hundreds of years ago…… We poured and are still pouring our soul into it. But we have told them ‘This is a white man’s country’.(393)” Max is trying to explain why Bigge responded the way he did to these standards of this society which gave him now other way but to react in the way he
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