Mary Dalton

Bigger Thomas is the main character of the novel, Native Son.His core desire is to get even with the white race, and to have control over his life.Fear and anger encompasses him. Thomas’ life revolves around his hatred towards white society.He blames whites for being uneducated man and living in poverty.This gives him the feelings of inferiority and shame, which in turn, brings out acts of violence.Even though he is extremely violent, Thomas is intimidated by people and the world around him.Although the struggle of feelings within Thomas are not good, he does feel a sense of remorse when he kills Mary.

Mary Dalton is the daughter of millionaires and philanthropists Mr. and Mrs. Dalton. Mary Dalton’s core desire is to help oppressed blacks.She has great intentions of improving the lives of blacks, but naïve on how to truly understand the people she is trying to help.She is rebellious to her parents and outspoken in her beliefs.Moreover, Mary tries too hard to befriend Thomas just because he is of the black race and, in all actuality, that is a bigger form of racism. The self-centeredness Mary has is unseen to her.

Jan Erlone is the boyfriend of Mary Dalton.He, too, tries to befriend Thomas in the same way Mary does, but realizes that Thomas cannot comprehend why they are trying to help him.Although Erlone has good intentions he does not know about black culture.He is paranoid about Mr. Dalton’s involvement in his arrest of Mary’s death.Erlone believes Mr. Dalton pays Thomas to tell lies about him because of his involvement in the Communist Party.When Thomas is arrested, that is when Jan realizes why he kills Mary and why he lies.Erlone’s core desire is help Bigger and become his friend.Jan Erlone hires a lawyer named Thomas to show him his true desire to help.

Bessie Mears is Bigger Thomas’ girlfriend.She is not submissive to Thomas, but her relationship with him is an unhealthy one. Mears’ relationship with Thomas is more for convenience than love.She is smart in the way of the world and knows Thomas is not telling her the whole truth about Mary. Mears’ core desire is not to get hurt. She is strong-willed and not naïve to Thomas’ lies.She is coerced into being a part of the ransom note to the Dalton’s. She knows it is wrong, but feels she has no other option.When she realizes that Mary Dalton is dead and not kidnapped she fears for her own life.She realizes Thomas’ involvement which ultimately gets her killed.

Boris A. Max is a lawyer and a member of the Labor Defenders. Jan Erlone hires Max to defend Bigger Thomas.Max is sensitive to Thomas and his predicament. His ability to treat and see Thomas as a human being provides Thomas’ the comfort to be able to tell his story.Even though he does not have the competence to fully understand Thomas, he does understand Thomas’ actions.Max’s core desire is to express Thomas’ story in courtroom so that people can understand his actions and feelings.When Thomas divulges how he feels about killing Mary Dalton, Max had mixed emotions. He feels both the terror of what Thomas is saying and he has empathy for knowing he is about to die.