Native Son

in Native son, explain and use evidence of the significance of Mrs. Dalton's blindness, and how this motif of blindness is developed throughout the novel.

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In his development of this theme, Richard Wright alludes to several stories from classical Greek mythology, most notably the stories of Oedipus of Thebes. Like Sophocles' stories of Oedipus, Native Son intertwines the idea of hubris ("excessive pride") with the idea of blindness. Most notably, we see that Bigger Thomas' incredible pride and anger often blind him from seeing reality. In a similar way, the Dalton's wealth and complacency are manifested in Mrs. Dalton's physical blindness. Both the blind Daltons and the blind and angry courtroom mob serve as examples of American racism. Ironically, Bigger's blindness prevents him from seeing what opportunities he does have; even as his pride fuels his blindness, his blindness prevents him from taking opportunities for advancement. Just as Bigger is blind to his potential, white America is blindly unaware of the sufferings of racism and poverty.