Native Son

why is bigger not a whole person

Why is bigger not a whole person 2 page essay question . Native son book 2 flight by Richard Wright

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In Book Three, the theme of identity is developed‹mostly in the scenes where Bigger prepares to face his death in the electric chair. In these final moments, Bigger must struggle to "come to terms" with what he has done and what he has become. In this regard, Bigger's identity crisis is more of a struggle to separate his own impressions from the projections of the racist society around him. Even as Bigger must accept responsibility for his crimes, he faces the complex task of asserting his own worth even as he can't ignore his crime. When Bigger is involved in the process of asserting his own worth, he finds that he is in a trap because he has been unable to act upon all of the dreams that he has. Bigger wants to define himself as an aviator or even as the leader of his gang, but these are all ultimately false. One important thing to note is that Wright's treatment of the identity theme resembles the philosophies expounded in several existentialist works. In particular, the prison scenes toward the end of the novel are intended to hearken back to the works of Wright's favorite writer, Dostoevsky. Particularly after his rejection of established religion, Bigger has the existentialist burden of searching for meaning in life without the traditional support systems offered by the church or other social structures. By the end of Native Son, it seems that Bigger is one man who is doomed to fight against the machinery of a hostile world.