Bigger Hate

26 Aug

I’m back at it again.   I couldn’t stop noticing what Bigger hates.   And the more I wrote down, the more jumped out at me.   There was a LOT of hate inside that man.

Right away on page 10, he hates his family.  (Why?   Because “he knew they were suffering and that he was powerless to help them.”)

He hates all the Daltons and even hates their house (for all it had made him feel since he first came into it).

He hates himself. (page 105 – Sounds like this one stems from jealousy of the Daltons and all their possessions.)

He hates Inspector Britton.   He hates Bessie.

Here’s a quote from Book Two that brings hate and love together with what Bigger wants:

What did he want?  What did he love and what did he hate?   He did not know.   There was something he knew and something he felt; something the world gave him and something he himself had; something spread out in front of him and something spread out in back; and never in all his life, with this black skin of his, had the two worlds, thought and feeling, will and mind, aspiration and satisfaction, been together; never had he felt a sense of wholeness.  Sometimes, in his room or on the sidewalk, the world seemed to him a strange labyrinth even when the streets were straight and the walls were square; a chaos which made him feel that something in him should be able to understand it, divide it, focus it.  But only under the stress of hate was the conflict resolved.

At the beginning of Book Three, he momentarily puts aside his hate, figuring that it wouldn’t help him.  This tells me that at the other times, he uses the hate.  He needs the hate to function.   The hate gives him purpose.  It’s so much a part of him, that normal functioning is impossible without it.   The hate resolves the inner conflict inside of him, according to the above quote.

Small wonder, then, that murder is the climax in this life-story of hate.   I’m sure that’s one of the points Wright is trying to get across.

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Posted by on August 26, 2013 in Native Son


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