By opening his novel Native Son in the cramped, small one room apartment, Wright is showing his audience just how poor the Thomas family is. In the first few pages, the reader sees how the is barely is surviving on government assistance- assistance which may soon run out if Bigger does not take a job with Mr. Dalton. The Thomas' family (Bigger, his sister Vern, his brother Buddy, and mother) are forced to share the small one-room apartment because it is all they can afford. By picturing them in such a small, dire situation, the audience realizes.
The opening of Native Son in the small kitchenette also reflects how many African Americans were treated during that time after the Great Migration. Living up North, many African Americans were forced to live in cramped conditions and fall prey to white landlords due to a racist oppressive socitey, as seen throughout the rest of the novel.