What are some of the reasons that Bigger begins to trust Jan?

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

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I think that Bigger has a strained relationship with Jan.  At first, he is taken aback with the openness and direct nature of Jan's interaction with him.  No doubt this is in part due to how both men perceive society.  Bigger sees race and ethnicity as the defining element in his state of being in the world.  Jan sees class and economics as the defining element permeating all consciousness.  Such a different starting point in perception helps to create a sense of uneasiness in Bigger.  It is to this extent that both are not in entire trust of one another.  Yet, Jan recognizes that there is a convergence of race and class in both thinkers and in doing so, helps Bigger with legal representation.  To this end, Bigger starts to trust Jan more.  Interestingly enough, it is at this point where Bigger becomes more hopeless about his situation.  Wright seems to be suggesting that there is greater trust in Bigger when he feels there is less hope about his particular situation.  Trust is something he feels is acceptable to experience when hope is decreased about his own situation.  Such a twisted way of seeing the world and the emotional dimensions that accompany it might be a reflection of how things are in Bigger's narrative and a reflection of the world that caused it.


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