A white individual, who should have been his worst enemy comes to his legal aid to defend him from reaching the gallows.
The first part of his name, in relation to grammar, is an adjective, and that mocks at him in real life always. Bigger Thomas can never become bigger in life. He is cursed with all the negative challenges of life. He is a poor, uneducated, twenty-year-old black man in Chicago of the 1930s when racial prejudice is at the peak. He visualizes his future with a totally cynical perspective and is convinced that the future holds nothing for him and it will remain dark like the color of his skin, for all time to come. His father has deserted the family to marry for the second time, and his poor, helpless mother is direction and destination-less. Bigger is not enamored of the menial low-wage labor and against the advice of his mother, gangs up with his friends to plan the robbery of a white man’s store. With anger, fear, and frustration being part of his daily existence, he is forced to act tough. Analyzing the psyche of Bigger Thomas Richard writes, He hated his family because he knew that they were suffering and that he was powerless to help them. He knew that the moment he allowed himself to feel to its fullness how they lived, the same and misery of their lives, he would be swept out of himself with fear and despair. (13)
Criminal activities become the accepted way of life for Bigger Thomas. The greatest challenge that lay hidden in a conspicuous corner of his mind is the color white. He hates the white race with all the intensity of his feelings, and at the same time, he is fearful of the economic and social power commanded by them. He wishes to retaliate, but dares not! To him, whites are the permanent enemies and he is always at mental war with them.