Not even thirty pages into Native Son, I have decided something bad is going to happen to our main character Bigger.
In the opening scene, Bigger kills a rat then tortures his sister with it. There’s a discussion about how if Bigger does not get a job the family will lose their public assistance. Bigger’s mom makes a terrible statement.
Bigger, sometimes I wonder why I birthed you,” she said bitterly.
Later she foretells:
And the gallows is at the end of the road you traveling, boy. Just remember that.”
This gives us a pretty clear indication of what home life is like for our main character.
Lest you think Mrs. Thomas is the only one who sees a bleak future for Bigger, here’s what he has to say about himself:
Sometimes I feel like something awful’s going to happen to me,” Bigger spoke with a tinge of bitter pride in his voice.
Author Richard Wright is steering this novel, and he’s already let us know we’re in for a fatal collision.