My BiggerIn Richard Wrights “Native Son” he magnificently describes how he came about of configuring Bigger.
He used four specific people to create Bigger. Wright chose people that stood up for themselves almost to a fault. All of the people did have bad ends, but were nevertheless influential in Wright’s, life good or bad. Wright drew from his personal experiences with these people to manufacture Bigger reactions. There were many social circumstances that held Bigger back from succeeding, like poverty, the depression and even his own stubbornness. Bigger was just reacting to his surrounding like Wright’s people did, a good example of this is when Bigger kills the rat and keeps hitting it. That relates with when Bigger No. 5 drew the knife on the streetcar driver asking him to move to the colored car, and he said “Make me.
” My people I’m going to talk about didn’t have to deal with such hardships, but did deal with more national and social challenges. My Bigger No.1 had a great influence and impact on my life for 17 years and still going.
He was born in the first year of the baby boom era. His childhood was good and privileged but it was when he got out of high school when things changed. He did go to college for a half year and flunked out. The country was in a transition period from the mid 60’s to the late 70’s and Bigger No.
1 was right in the middle of it and old enough to be affected by it all. And at this time if a man from 18 to 25 wasn’t in college he had to get into the reserves or go to Vietnam where he might die. Bigger No.
1 had missed the registration date for the reserves. He didn’t believe in the war and had no intensions of going to it. He was afraid like many men were then, especially if they didn’t like the cause. His father had been in WWII and had nearly died (when he and another man were walking side by side in the jungle they somehow switched places and two step later the other man was killed by a sniper).
Bigger No. 1’s father was in the Army and he did get into the reserves, one month late. Bigger No.1 had to spend 4 years in the reserve. Now this wasn’t the hard part, it was what was in the middle.
He didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life at this time so he took some odd jobs at a brewery and also worked on a couple presidential campaigns for McGovern, someone’s cause he did believe in. A couple of his good childhood friends had gone to Vietnam and came back messed up, alcoholics and always carrying guns. He didn’t go back to school until he was 24. He started at a community college and then moved to Bradley University.
Where he had to work hard for his grades and struggled at times. He ended up graduating with a degree in economics. Bigger No. 1 had about forty years under his belt when he came into my life. He has had an enormous impact on me and where I’m at today.
I couldn’t have been able to play all the sports I did as a child and be good and attend Butler if it wasn’t for him. He has always given me great advice on every decision I have had to make, from changing high schools, to going to a community college my first year for school. He always said at the end that it was totally up to me and he would be behind me in any chose I ever made. And thanks to him I feel I have made some good ones. Bigger No.
2 has also impacted me greatly, but for 19 years. She also grew up a baby boomer but it wasn’t the country that affected her, it was her family. Her father was a pilot for Delta for 45 years, and they were always moving. She lived in England, Texas, Florida and even the Caribbean. Don’t let all these wonderful places fool you it wasn’t fun.