Mr. Max's Speech Essay

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In the novel Native Son by Richard Wright, the final plea of Mr. Max regarding the trial of Bigger Thomas is very important as it encompasses the main theme of oppression and its importance to the United States on a monumental scale. Mr. Max analyzes the life of Bigger Thomas in the way the author intends it to be seen, as a symbol of the lives of the 12 million African Americans living in the United States at that time. The passionate speech by Mr. Max covers the theme of blindness, and how the white populace uses it to shield themselves from guilt. Also, he uses an extended metaphor to depict how the ghettos merely fuelled the oppression and crime of the city. Similarly to the containment of the blacks in ghettos he mentions the lack of …show more content…
This propaganda justifies the unfair treatment of the blacks in the blind eyes of the populace as they are not seen as capable of being productive members of society. This view is contrary to Max’s as he believes that the African Americans are as capable as anyone but are suppressed by circumstances such as the ghettoes.
The speech is also important in depicting how containing blacks in ghettos merely fuelled their problems. Richard Wright uses an extended metaphor as he compare the blacks as “a corpse” which is “not dead...It has made itself a home in the wild forest. It has grown hard and calloused!” Comparing African Americans to a corpse is important as it shows how they were something which the whites had intended to bury away, in the “wild forest” which was the ghetto. Max, emphasises how containing the blacks in a ghetto has a negative impact through the descriptive adjectives “hard and calloused”. These adjectives both depict that the blacks are constantly struggling to survive yet they are determined. The word “forest” is used to imply that the blacks live in an area unfamiliar to the rest of the residents, and that this unfamiliarity was another factor which lead to the murder of Mary Dalton. This is supported by Max’s statement: “You kept Bigger Thomas in that forest. You kept the man who murdered your daughter a stranger to her and you kept your daughter a stranger to him”. This quote is important as it shows how keeping the

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