He worked with Paul Green between 1940 and 1941 to create a stage adaptation of the novel. Paul Green later wrote another adaptation for the stage with the guidance of Richard Wright right beside him. He down plays Bigger and even lets him off of the hook for the murder of Bessie. Even though it may have been too graphic for Bigger to have raped and killed Bessie in the stage adaptation, it would have helped if, like in the novel, Bigger served as the main contributor in her death instead if him having virtually nothing to do with it at all; she somewhat commits suicide by jumping in front of bullets meant for Bigger.
By editing the novel Bigger is placed between the role of being a victim or victimizer (Ward 41). He is only given half of the responsibility of Mary’s death because she seduces him giving him reason to believe that it would be okay to enter her bedroom. Also the entire responsibility of Bessie’s death is completely erased. responsibility of Bessie’s death off of Bigger he loses some of the complexity and psychological intricacy that he was originally created with (Laws 28).
His layers become limited and he loses By changing this part and taking the some of the mental effect he has on his audience. This in turn makes him appear to merely be a surface character that has no inner story and is simply angry at the world for reasons unknown to everyone. In actuality the death of Bigger’s father at such a young age is one of the reasons that as to why he behaves the way he does. In the beginning of the play Green created character named Mrs. Emmet, the white social worker, who appears only once right after they catch the rat roaming their house.
She was strategically placed to show how their dysfunctional life is constantly being watched and interrupted not only by people but also by animals. The word emmet is ctually a southern dialect word for ant (Ward 42). empathy with his father’s death releases his hidden emotions causing him to “hurt” himself and create a persona of a tough guy. Bigger self vilified himself because he possessed a large amount of anger due to his father’s death at such a young age (Takeuchi 57). He made himself into the man he was.
He tries to Bigger’s blame it on everything around him, such as his friends, his family, the authorities, yet he never actually takes responsibility for what he contributed to the circumstances until it is too late. Bigger is slightly afraid that he will have to suffer the same fate s his father; beaten to death by a group of white men. He knows that the white society and the whites in general are the individuals that provide him with basically everything he has, which is not much, yet he still resents them for not giving them enough considering all that they have for themselves.
Although Bigger loathes the power of the white society and tries to appear strong and resilient he was actually powerless to the white people and he knew it. When he is at the Dalton residence eating he selfishly only thinks of himself and does not feel bad for eating better than he ever has while his family is probably hungry as usual. leads his case he attempts to justify his actions by reminding the judge and the jury he was acting on instinct.
The world around him and the feeling of inferiority constantly cast upon him was the reasoning for his behavior over the short time span in which he murdered two individuals. Max, Bigger’s lawyer, says that Biggers actions are “woven by [their] civilization into the very structure of his consciousness, into his blood and bones, into the hourly functioning of his personality” (qtd. in Van Hoose 47). Max makes a great point but it is very difficult for him to sell this argument to the court considering he will never fully be able o understand what goes through Bigger’s mind and what he goes through every single day.
Although Max is aware of Bigger and compassionate about his hardships, he is not fully aware of Near the end of the novel as Bigger’s lawyer the extremes to which Bigger has had to deal with these social problems. very hard to portray exactly how he is imagined to be in most people’s minds. It is so hard for any actor, no matter how good, to do the character of Bigger Thomas justice. If a new version of the of the film version of Native Son were recreated today and someone decided to take on this huge role they would have to ompletely submerge them selves in this role.
It would have to be taken tremendously seriously to be successfully executed. I believe that if anyone did decide to accept this role toc did it correctly, it could go down as the best performance of their entire career. With that being said, I also think that if a new actor who wanted to get his career started did the same thing it would be their breakout role most likely earning them instant fame. Wright portrayed Bigger in one of the earlier versions of the movie which may not have necessarily been the best idea.
He was 40-years-old at the time but Bigger was written as only 20-years-old. It is hard for anyone to play Bigger because he is a very complex character. story, whether in the novel, play, or movie, Bigger longed for isolation and seclusion. He constantly felt hassled by everyone around him to do something for them. He wished he could just run away and only have to worry about himself and his own well-being. When he killed Mary he saw this as his solution to the problem. All he wanted was a little money for him to have for when he ran away.
He thought that he had the perfect plan. He eventually gets caught considering he is the largest suspect after he darts out of the Dalton house appearing suspicious as ver. He ultimately gets exactly what he has been yearning for. After he is arrested and taken to the jail cell he has plenty time and space to himself which is really all he wanted. Being in the jail cell Bigger has all the space he wished for, yet he cannot enjoy it because he is stuck and cannot escape himself (Soto 23). He is essentially miserable in what he wanted the whole time.
Bigger was really just trying to reconstruct himself in a place full Bigger being such a complex character in itself is and Throughout the course of the entire of darkness and racism. As Bigger sits in his cell the visual epresentation in very ironic; as he sits in the cell alone he is watching everyone else roam freely. This is representation as to how he has felt the whole time. He has been on the outside of the rest of the world looking in and observing trying to figure out where he could possibly fit in. trying to escape the white people and their undeniable power over him and everyone else he knows.
They have everything he wishes he did. After a nearly successful attempt to escape their control he ends up trapped by “white people to either side” (qtd. in Soto 26). Bigger always knew he was under someone’s watch, whether direct or indirect. In the beginning of the book he mentions a poster of State Attorney General Buckley. He mentions how it no matter what angle you look at it from “it kept looking unblinkingly back at you” (qtd. in Soto 26). very interesting that a large amount of the setting information that is provided by Wright is relatively true and nonfictional.
For example the Black Belt area was actually an area in 1930s Chicago where African American residents were mostly poor and were kept mostly separated from the other wealthier residents of Chicago. Many of them were most likely on welfare, like Bigger and his family. Bigger’s employers, Mr. nd Mrs. Dalton, and even Bessie all want him to have the same thing: “a steady job, responsible manhood, and that unshakable love of family that will allow him ‘to get married and have a home of [his] own'” (qtd. in Edmunds 64).
Bigger resents the city’s plan for every individual to have a family only to subject them to domination by the white people, working their hardest every single day, only to still essentially starve due to the small salaries they are given to live off of. many readers tend to be unclear as to the overall resolution reached with Bigger’s character. He is caught, taken to jail, tried or the rape and murder or Mary Dalton and sentenced to the death penalty: the electric chair. As he sits in his cell and awaits his fate his family, lawyer, and Bessie all visit him to say their He has been relentlessly It is At the conclusion of the novel goodbyes.
As he contemplates everything that has happened, the audience also contemplates the decisions he has made attempting to make sense of it allI. So much happens in such a short amount of that Bigger’s family has to be dumbfounded, puzzled, and furious. The audience is forced themselves to answer the question as to whether or not he actually figures out ho he is and reaches “enlightenment” or if his character strengthens the stereotypes of African American males and overstresses their disrespect for women (Takeuchi 56).
If the first choice is what happened then Bigger dies at peace with himself and his decisions. He has no regrets at all whatsoever because he had a perfectly explainable reason for each decision. He would also understand why he reacted the way he If it is the second possibility where he strengthened the horrible stereotype placed on men of color then he only hurt his people rather than helping them. He would have to be one of the most selfish people ever created.
He wouldn’t have cared about the image that created for individuals like him that would some day be in situations similar Bigger did both of these things. He did finally become aware his inner being and became more understanding of himself. But he also weakened the image of African American males. As a person he accepted his own decisions and reached a point where he could only blame himself. The over exaggeration of his irresponsibility and disrespect for women was merely to show how extreme a person could become if placed under did in each situation. to his. intense circumstances.