Native Son Bigger Thomas has been shaped by various forces. Forces that have changed the life completely for Bigger Thomas. In Native Son, Bigger Thomas seems to be composed of a mass of disruptive emotions rather than a rational mind joined by a soul. Bigger strives to find a place for himself, but the blindness he encounters in those around him and the bleak harshness of the Naturalistic society that Wright presents the reader with close him out as effectively as if they had shut a door in his face. In the first book, Wright tells the reader "these were the rhythms of his life: indifference and violence; periods of abstract brooding and periods of intense desire; moments of silence and moments of anger -- like water ebbing and flowing from the tug of a far-away, invisible force" (p.31). Bigger is controlled by forces that he cannot tangibly understand. Bigger's many acts of violence are, in effect, a quest for a soul. He desires an identity that is his alone. Both the white !.
and the black communities have robbed him of dignity, identity, and individuality. The human side of the city is closed to him, and for the most part Bigger relates more to the faceless mass of the buildings and the mute body of the city than to another human being. His mother's philosophy of suffering to wait for a later reward is equally stagnating -- to Bigger it appears that she is weak and will not fight to live. Her religion is a blindness; but she needs to be blind in order to survive, to fit into a society that would drive a "seeing" person mad. All of the characters that Bigger says are blind are living in darkness because the light is too painful. Bigger wants to break through that blindness, to discover something of worth in himself, thinking that "all one had to do was be bold, do something nobody ever thought of. The whole things came to him in the form of a powerful and simple feeling; there was in everyone a great hunger to believe that made them blind, and if he could see while others were blind, then he could get what he wanted and never be caught at it" (p.