Book 1 of Native Son was a fascinating reading. The majority of the reading consists of Bigger’s efforts towards self-actualization. It reminded me very much of the events of A Raisin in the Sun. When I read that play for the first time in high school, we discussed at length the relevance of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs within the story. Self-actualization is the final level of needs that can be sought after, but the most important in my opinion. A sense of individuality, purpose, and conviction are accomplished when this need is satisfied. Bigger is wanting of this, as Wright describes multiple instances of emasculation and frustration. My prediction is that the struggle towards self-actualization or the stark absence of it will play a critical role in these characters’ lives as well. Bigger is a frustrated young man who dreams of more for himself. His employment with the Daltons is portrayed as a stroke of luck at first for Bigger and his poor family, but the vapid liberalism, “white savior”-ness, and fascination the Daltons have towards Bigger and the black community in general poisons their good deeds. Could Mrs. Dalton’s blindness be a physical manifestation of her and her family’s color-blindness? The Dalton family present an extremely complex dynamic in wanting to help the people they employ, and yet Bigger still feels ill at ease around them, especially Mary. He simultaneously hates yet is captivated by her. They are reciprocally transfixed on each other, but in quite malicious and selfish ways. Mary wants to observe Bigger like an animal in captivity, while Bigger wants to take advantage of Mary in order to feel any control. Mary’s death was a complete shock. I felt sympathy for Bigger at first as he had put himself in serious danger, but his intentions and feelings are becoming more confusing and unreliable. On the surface, he is a poor black kid who has murdered a rich white girl. Will he escape the consequences of his actions? Will society be able to forgive him?