Sunday, August 4, 2019
Symbols: The Essential Element :: Literary Analysis, Native Son
Symbols: the basis of all literary works. Without symbols books become boring and lifeless. Symbols assist the reader in discovering a deeper meaning. In Richard WrightÃ¢â¬â¢s novel, Native Son, symbols are used to show death, faith and living in a white run world. In the first book, readers are introduced to the rat. Bigger is shown attempting to destroy the rat. When the rat is deceased, he appears as a Ã¢â¬Å"flat black bodyÃ¢â¬ ¦ [with] two yellow tusksÃ¢â¬ (6). With this death, BiggerÃ¢â¬â¢s murder streak starts. In the gruesome death of the rat, the ghastly deaths of Mary Dalton and Bessie Mears are foreshadowed. MaryÃ¢â¬â¢s death- while not gruesome at first- then turns suddenly violent when Bigger Ã¢â¬Å"sawed the blade into the fleshÃ¢â¬ ¦ [and] sent the blade of the hatchet into the bone of the throatÃ¢â¬ (92). Though Mary initially died by suffocation, her head being chopped off is as disturbing as the death of the rat. However, BessieÃ¢â¬â¢s death was terrifying from the start. Bessie was murdered in the most atrocious manner. Bessie is not only raped, but bludgeoned to death by Bigger Ã¢â¬Å"[lifting] the brick again and againÃ¢â¬ (237). BessieÃ¢â¬â¢s appalling death is the worst of all the deaths. Bessie appear s to have done nothing wrong yet she is murdered at the hands of Bigger out of fear. WrightÃ¢â¬â¢s use of the rat as a symbol shows how death is a horrendous event in life. WrightÃ¢â¬â¢s use of the cross helps readers recognize faith. After Bigger is arrested, he is soon visited by his motherÃ¢â¬â¢s preacher, Reverend Hammond. The reverend visits Bigger in an attempt to convince him that he must have faith in God. After praying for Bigger, Reverend Hammond Ã¢â¬Å"[draws] from his pocket a wooden cross with a chain upon itÃ¢â¬ (286). The Reverend then placed it around BiggerÃ¢â¬â¢s neck where it Ã¢â¬Å"[hangs] next to the skin of BiggerÃ¢â¬â¢s chestÃ¢â¬ (286). The cross presented to Bigger is HammondÃ¢â¬â¢s attempt at forcing Bigger to believe and hope for something better. The cross is once again seen when Bigger is leaving the Dalton home, yet this time it is in a negative light. As Bigger exits the Dalton home, he sees a Ã¢â¬Å"[looming]Ã¢â¬ ¦ burning crossÃ¢â¬ (337). Bigger then questions if Ã¢â¬Å"white people [wanted] him to love Jesus tooÃ¢â¬ (337). It is not until people are yelling at him that this is a cross of hate, not love and faith. When Bigger returns to the van he Ã¢â¬Å"[grips] the cross and [snatches] it from his throatÃ¢â¬ (338).