The Native Son Critical Analysis

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Potter Stewart once said, “Fairness is what justice really is.” Richard Wright expresses similar sentiments in his novel, The Native Son, when displaying Bigger’s hardships as a black man in a white society. Wright highlights Bigger’s crimes in a new light when instilling empathy in the reader as he/she undertakes Bigger’s journey of self- fulfillment and awareness. His overuse of the black and white motif constructs a society in which people judge based on skin color. He constructs a society in which blacks remain filthy poor, and whites remain filthy rich. This translates into Bigger’s trial, where he faces prejudice and hardships. In The Native Son, Wright utilizes the motif of black and white to display the hypocrisy of the American justice system. Wright first develops this theme by highlighting society’s response to Bessie’ murder. By contrasting the unjust justice of Bessie’s and Mary’s murders in the novel, Wright underscores his theme. In both situations Bigger impulsively kills an innocent woman. However, Wright highlights the different ways society receives both of their murders. This displays itself as soon as Mary disappears. The police set out to look for her and an investigation starts. The reader understands that Bigger originally attempts to cover up Mary’s murder by cutting her body up and burning in the house’s fireplace. Parallely, Bigger kills Bessie and “body hit …show more content…
The character of Bigger challenges justice through his actions, and Potter Stewart recognizes fairness and justices’ relationship. Though morally incorrect, Bigger’s oppression in white society plays a contributing role in creating his character. The overpowering force of racism proves eye- opening in understanding Bigger’s ultimate fate. The American justice system sees not only in red, white, and blue; rather, it sees in black and

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