One of the messages that Richard Wright wants us to take away is that people like Bigger are products of their environment. Bigger is only violent and afraid because of the oppression and racism that he constantly lived with. Part of me agrees but part of me does not. I can't help but compare Bigger with Uncle Tom of Uncle Tom's Cabin. Tom certainly faced his share of hardships but he never let go of his faith. On the other hand, Bigger mocks and scoffs at his mother's faith. Two very different characters even though they shared a similar background.
Richard Wright wanted to shock the people of his day and I'm sure he did with this novel. He wanted to make them face the reality and tragedy of race relations in the 1930s. His message was delivered because the book became an instant bestseller and he became known as the "father of Black American literature". While it certainly is not a book I plan to revisit I will remember the message that Wright is conveying through this work.
On to the next novel - Albert Camus' The Stranger. And one happy note - I planned to finish 9 WEM novels this year - and I'm starting #10 so I'm ahead of schedule!
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