Bigger Thomas, a young black man in Chicago, murders two women and is condemned to death. Bigger, whose crimes escalate as the story takes its sad and terrible course, feels--like Dostoyevsky's Raskolnikov in CRIME AND PUNISHMENT--that the act of murder is a kind of existential act, and is the only kind of freedom he has ever known. Wright deliberately avoided making his protagonist a sympathetic character, wishing to accurately depict the dehumanization of blacks in American society, as well as his belief that Bigger, as a product of his environment, is not truly guilty of the murders he committed.
Genre: Fiction + Literature Genres, Fiction + Literature Themes
Subgenre: Classics, Literary Genres + Types of Novels, Society + Social Issues, Politics, Legal + Courtroom + Crime, Conflicts + Dualities, Peoples + Cultures, General, Literary