Discuss Wright's depction of the media coverage to Bigger's predicament.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The idea of "blindness" being a part of the world in which Bigger lives is evident in the media coverage within it.  Bigger is overcome by a sensationalist media coverage that is more concerned with splashy headlines and salacious details rather than a probing for either the truth or examination of the conditions that caused Bigger's predicament in the first place.  There is blindness element that dominates the narrative, and Wright's assertion is that the world that both perpetuates discrimination initiates this lack of sight and actually suffers from it.  The media is a part of this and Bigger's condition is reflective of it.  The coverage of the trial is sensationalistic because it captures elements of social disdain and taboo, as well as failing to examine the causes of such elements.  For example, the media coverage is driven by the Communist angle and the White woman being tormented and supposedly raped by the Black man.  Yet, the media fails to examine the conditions in which Communism is relevant in the time period as well as the social and material conditions that cause people of color to live different lives than their White counterparts.  Capitulating to the worst of stereotypes, the media is shown to be a force that is a part of the challenge of lacking vision.  In this blindness, the media is shown to be suffering from it and spreading its affliction to the society at large.


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