Getting to know Bigger
In “Native Son” by Richard Wright, answer the following question on each Bigger and use quotations to support your ideas. In the Chapter “How ‘Bigger’ was Born”, Wright states all kinds of the different Bigger.
Bigger was bad. He was bad, powerful, terrorized others, and refused to stand down in the black community.
The author states “His swaggering was/is swallowed up somewhere in the amnesia of my childhood.”
Question: What does the author mean by the above quote? Why was Bigger such a contentions challenge to other members, and his gang? Did Bigger have human agency, or was he constructed by the evil of Jim Crow/Northern racism?
Bigger #2 was 17 years old and tougher than Bigger #1.
Question: Why was/were Southern unwilling to risk everything for freedom? Why did the author use the name Bigger instead of the “N” word? Could it be that he intended to soften the “N” word in hopes to allow the reader to grasp and hear? Is it appropriate to use the “N” word in public or in private conversation based on your value system and our class discussions?
According to Wright he carried his life in his hands — In a literal sense.
Question: Why was Bigger #3 willing to risk everything, rather than just sitting back and letting things happen? What impact did the death of his father seem to have on the Chicago Bigger psychologically? What did he have? Why did bigger have such disdain for the relief/ welfare people?
Question: What did you learn about Bigger after reading the book? Bigger seemed to hate the paternalism of the Daltons towards poor black people. Why? Was Mary’s death murder or an accident based on your values? Why did the press call Bigger an animal after Mary’s death?