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Native Son

             After Bigger Thomas, the central character of this novel, has "murdered a white girl and cut her head off and burnt her body,"" he thinks that he has "created a new life for himself. It was something that was all his own, and it was the first time in his life he had anything that others could not take from him.""(Native Son- Book 3:Fate) Richard Wright may well have felt the same way as Bigger felt about his bloody act of violence, about the act of writing Native Son. It gave Wright an opportunity to express his thoughts and feelings to the world. Wright came to understand through writing this story, that words could be used as weapons. His protagonist, Bigger Thomas, has a background which resembles Wright's. Like Bigger, he was brought up without a father; like Bigger's family, Wright's also left the South for the urban ghetto of Chicago; like Bigger who was schooled only to the eight grade, Wright finished with the ninth, and like Bigger, the author of Native Son grew up a loner and a rebel, whose devoutly religious family assumed he lived a life of crime. During Wright's childhood, Southern Whites prevented blacks from voting, maintained separate educational institutions for them, tried to keep them from holding civilized jobs, and insisted on their acting deferentially in the presence of whites. As a result of this exposure to the white world's hostility and aggression towards blacks, most of Wright's books portray both racial discrimination and the black response to that injustice; such as Black Boy and Native Son. Even as an adult, Wright felt discrete to both whites and blacks, and several of his major characters share this sense of being isolated, like he did. .
             In Native Son, Wright uses words as weapons. This novel is a reflection of racism. He definitely portrays racial discrimination and its reaction. Racism affects Bigger's life at home, at the Daltons, and in police custody.

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