Race Relations

The subject of race has always been a problem of society. A problem that took the United States hundreds of years to fix, to reverse the damage of racial prejudice. Bigger Thomas, the main character of the famous story “Native Son”, by Richard Wright, is a depiction of the racial prejudice our society has bestowed upon the black community. His character not only shows the affect of racial prejudice but it also shows the standards in which a person in that situation contains; the very limited standards.

“I could fly a plane if I had a chance”,(Wright, pg. 17). Bigger Thomas, a man who lived in a world with no chances and no hope. Though he was given a job, he felt hatred from the white community, though he accidentally killed a white women, he felt the hatred from the white and black community. Bigger existed in a world where a black man or women couldn’t have sex with a person of a different race or they would be considered a rapist. He lived in a world where the police didn’t even care if a black storeowner was robed. So if Bigger had the chance to fly a plane of course he would take it, however because of his skin color, Bigger was nothing but an ape.

“Have you missed anything around the house since he’s been here?” (Wright, p.191). Bigger could only be very effected by society, when it was common for these kinds of things to be said by the white community. He proved his affected mind by turning into a survivor. (Metz, Bigger Thomas, The Survivor)

He killed Mary Dalton and Bessie in order to survive. He even took an unwanted job in order to survive. When bigger was captured for his murders, he had no care about life anymore because he had been surviving for so long, he just wanted to die.

The racial prejudice in society would give anyone standards in life, and sadly those standards end up affecting the very person. Bigger’s standards were of every black man in that time period. He was to been considered an ape, and to amount to nothing. His affects were survival that lead to death, plain and simple. Society is downright cruel, and sadly unless human beings seize to exist, society will remain this way. (Dalkey, Questions on Native Son)


1.Wright, Richard, “Native Son”, Harper Collins Publisher, INC, New York, NY, 1998

2. Dalkey, Kara, WWW.Yahoo.Com/Nativesonquestions?harperteen/http.com, Questions on Native son, 2002

3. Metz, Melinda, WWW.Yahoo.Com/NativesonQuestions/OnlineUniversity/00193286674.2674.com, Bigger Thomas, The survivor, 2000