Native Son Essay

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Morally ambiguous characters - characters whose behavior discourages readers from identifying them as purely evil or purely good - are at the heart of many works of literature. Choose a novel or play in which a morally ambiguous character plays a pivotal role. Then write an essay in which you explain how the character can be viewed as morally ambiguous and why his or her moral ambiguity is significant to the work as a whole. Avoid mere plot summary. In various works of literature, the moral ambiguity of a certain character is used to teach readers a lesson and empower them to change their community. This use of moral ambiguity can be seen in the book Native Son, by Richard Wright. The main character, Bigger Thomas, is difficult to identify as good or evil. Throughout the book, Bigger committed many crimes, including two murders and the writing of a ransom note. His aggressive nature and unhindered anger towards the world makes it difficult for readers to like him or connect with him. However, it is difficult to define Bigger as a purely evil character due to the circumstances surrounding him and the situations he was forced into. Through Bigger’s moral ambiguity, Richard Wright is able not only to make readers aware of a problem in this country, but also to prompt them to put effort into fixing it. Life was very difficult for Bigger, being a poor black boy without a father growing up in the 1930s. Racial prejudice was running rampant throughout the country, and there was an especially deep distrust of black men and their rumored desire for white women. All African Americans were forced into segregated parts of cities, where they had to work for low wages and pay high rent. Bigger’s single mother struggled to raise her three children in a tiny, rat-infested apartment. Due to his deplorable lifestyle, one can hardly blame Bigger for lashing out at the people
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