Mo’ Money, Mo’ Biggers Long ago, our economy, our government, our families, and individuals joined together and created the greatest weapon yet, Biggers. What are Biggers? Biggers have been around since the beginning of time, they are sinful creatures like yourself that has been outcast from society because their soul has been labeled “unredeemable”. Biggers are native creatures of the United States, but their species can be found scattered around the globe.
The term Biggers was made popular by Richard Wright, author of the novel, Native Son. In the novel the main character, Bigger was to live a life that was predetermined for him; to die like a rat. One of the theme of Native Son, was the ideology of Bigger(s) being birth from society. Zora Neale Hurston also understood the dynamic between Biggers and Society. She wrote about a different creator of Biggers in her novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God.
By analyzing Native Son and Their Eyes are Were Watching God, the authors are concluding that the different political systems presented indicates that Biggers can exist in either society of the United States; one influenced by a capitalist democracy, one following the Marxist way, or self governed by black people. Wright flatters the idea of the United States being a communist nation with no racial problems, but quickly dismissed this ignorant/naive fantasy and demonstrated in Native Son that more Biggers would be produced even in a Communist state.
Wright testify that the principles’ of Karl Marx seem perfect on paper, however it is not that simple. Yes, it would be great if everyone was treated equally and if their was equal payment between blacks and whites, but even this supposedly “perfect” society is flawed. Wright portrays the communist characters in the novel as a fuel that assisted in creating Biggers. Mary and Jan were friendly, but their actions could not be interpreted as friendly, especially to guy like Bigger, a guy that has been oppressed by white faces for a long time.
Bigger felt that Jan friendliness was a joke to ridicule him, “this white man, having helped to put [me] down, having helped to deform [me], helped [me] up now to look at [me] and be amused” (67). Bigger’s thoughts were never ending: How can Jan be a friend and a valuable ally to me? How can I trust a white man that want to help? How can Jan expect me to be open with him, when he has the face of my enemy? How do I behave around a communist? Bigger was very fearful of communist people because he only heard bad things about them.
He remembered seeing many cartoons of communists with flaming torches in their hands, trying to commit murder or set things on fire (66). But those images of Communist were the Media portrayal of them, Jan was different from the illustration, he was communist with a plan not a torch. Jan had an idea that would limit the number of Biggers in society, but an obstacle that he did not predict to occur, was the blackened hearts of the negroes plagued with hatred and fear for whites. Jan self-realization came too late to save Bigger, “|| didn’t know my white face was making you feel guilty, condemning you” (287).
Jan’s plan of bringing together the black and the communist party had to be placed on hold. He understood that if he truly believed that a communist nation was the answer to the black’s people prayer, he must first prevent anymore Biggers from being wrongfully punished for something that were out of their control. “I got to thinking, if I killed, this thing would go on and on and never stop. I said, I’m going to help that guy, if he lets me” (288). Wright understood that communism was not the savior that could alleviate the blacks from oppression because the history of the United States s a complex one, one build on stolen land and the blood of the Africans. Wright suggest that their would be more Biggers in the world under a democracy influenced by capitalism. The way Capitalism work, some people have to be the haves while others the haves not. Wanting social equality in a capitalistic society is ideally, but simply cannot be done. Wright understood this, he is aware that the blacks in the United Sates are at the mercy of the blade of capitalism. Capitalism, along with Racism has helped segregated the blacks into a confined role in society; the laborers of the United States.
Biggers explains how society has drawn a line and told the blacks to stay on their side of the line. They don’t care if there’s no bread over on your side; they kill you before you die (351-353). The line acted as kryptonite to most colored people because they dared not to cross it, aware that death would be their punishment. The capitalistic democracy of the United States had kept Biggers paralyzed in one place, even if that place is rat-infested room in which four people eat and sleep (326).
But once Bigger felt a tingle in his arms, legs, fingers, for the first time he no longer saw the line as kryptonite, but as an enchantment that has awoken his animal like instincts for survival. When Bigger was on trial for murder Max defended his action, “he was living, only as he knew how, and what we have forced him to live… It was an act of creation” (400). Capitalism democracy is a paradox and Max in the novel is convinced that this political institute has helped to create Biggers, “Multiply Bigger Thomas twelve million times.. hey are not simply twelve million people; in reality they are captive within this nation, devoid of political, social, economic, and property rights (397). Wright argues that Biggers are created because the capitalistic democracy goes by unchecked by the government. Mr. Dalton believed that “Negroes are happier when they’re together”, based on supply and demand in his capitalistic democracy, but Hurson sets another atmosphere where negroes are governed together in her novel, Their Eyes are watching God (327).
Hurston shifts the blame away from the white dominant society in the United States and explain that black people can manufacture Biggers too. Hurston depicts Starks as one of the creator of Biggers by having his character present/being in Eatonville start a snowball effect that transformed the people in the community to feel resentful and inferior. Jody Starks was marginalizing his own community, setting himself apart from the community. Starks’ homes is one of the snowflake that contributed to the avalanche of Biggers. The rest of the town looked like servant’s quarters surrounding the “big house”” (47). The home Starks had build for himself, was a southern plantation model house. Talk about a silence statement being made. Starks did not embark and engage with his fellow community, he shepherd his town from a distance in his “great big house”. Hurston explains that even a autonomous black community can make a Bigges because they are no different than a white community.
The only difference in the Black town was the color of people’s skin; it was an exact copy, but with less discrimination. Starks was aware of his intentional duplication of the white society, “he brought a desk like Mr. Hill or Mr. Galloway over in Maitland” (47). Starks is following the white people materialistic style in order to depict himself as insync with the dominant culture compared to his backwards sheeps. By doing so, Starks made the community feel taken advantage of, “like things had been kept from them” (48).
The town people espond just how Bigger would had, “it was bad enough for white people, but when one of your own color could be so different it put you on a wonder” (48). Bigger had felt the same way when Black leaders hated him, because it make it hards for them to get along with white folks (Native Son 357). Stark’s behavior in the novel, Their Eyes are Watching God had the people of Eatonville become Biggers, but jealous Biggers that were force to dislikes other Biggers that succeeded and forgotten to look back at where they started from in order to raise more Biggers standard of living.