During in the 1940’s in Chicago, African Americans struggled and suffered because of the dominance of white Americans over them. Many of them lived in a small room and harsh conditions. They faced discrimination, racism and were separated from white people’s places. They were also segregated where ever they went.
The white community abused of their power and treated them as animals. In consequence of this, Richard Wright created Native Son. The book is about of all of the Biggers Richard Wright had encountered when he lived in Chicago and Bigger represented all of them and how being a black person meant in this time.
While many others wouldn’t agreed of Bigger’s action, Richard Wright, the author of Native Son illustrates the struggles of a young black man, who combats racism and tries to escape his tragic destiny.
The black rat that appears at the beginning of the book displays Bigger’s struggles in his environment and community. The rat is the product of Bigger’s environment and as Bigger is the product of his environment when he is faced with white society, there is nothing he can do and therefore he is destroyed by them. The ray squeaked and turned and ran in a narrow circle,looking for a place to hide”( Wright 5) The rat was being chased by Bigger and it was running trying to escape from him. Like the rat, Bigger was also trying to hide from white people.
Bigger was always getting into trouble. “The killing of a rat that follows is the first of Bigger’s escalating acts of violance and a symbolic telescoping of the entire novel’s action. “(The Novel 100) It says that it was one of his first violance during his life.
While the rat felt trapped by Bigger, He also felt trapped by white society. “He was near the street; he could hear shouts and screams coming to him like the roar of water. He was in the street now, being dragged over snow”(Wright 270)White people were chasing him in this time and he was hiding from them.
As we know the black rat is a symbol of Bigger in his own environment. When he tries to escape and run from white people he feels powerless and asolated.