My name is Jack Meloch and I’m a friend of Mr. Max. I’ve come in contact with Mr. Max’s client, Bigger Thomas, and I saw his case. From the stories of Mr. Max I don’t think that it’s fair to Bigger to get the death sentence. It is obviously society’s fault that he did what he did. I truly don’t think that Bigger is a bad guy; he’s not a nice guy either. He’s just a normal black person, who lives in poverty because, among other things, the white man (Mary’s father) over-charges him on the rent. As I read in Mr. Max’s papers, Bigger mentions killing the girl because he was afraid that her blind mother would find him, and, at the time drunk Mary in one room. He was forced to do what he did because he didn’t know how to handle the situation. All in all he is just a black man, who has been oppressed by the white man since the day he was born.
As he [Bigger] is awaiting his trial he looks confused and worried about the almost certain fate that awaits him. As men before him and after him, he does not want to die. Bigger is just another example of the great injustice practiced in the courts. It is very unlikely, stemming from the crowd gathered outside the courtroom, that he would be given a fair trial. But what’s behind the confusion and self-doubt fright? What made Bigger commit such a vicious act? The answers are too apparent. But what’s behind the confusion and fear?
Bigger should not be given the death sentence because, he was put in a new environment, too fast for one to handle. It is hard for a black man, who has never come in contact with a white man, to be suddenly put in a white family. Although Bigger was aware of white people, he has never come in direct contact with a white person. He only knew about white people through movies, stories and the rumors that were spread around town where he lived. The main reason for Bigger’s behavior is he has never faced a situation like the one he was in. On top of that, Bigger panicked when he saw that Mary’s mother came into the room.
By killing Mary, Bigger justified his existence in an oppressive world. The realization he had after killing Mary was that it made him from a nobody, in the world, to a somebody. It made Bigger feel more significant, more important. He killed her because he was oppressed and worthless, and by doing this he made himself much more than nothing. He made himself a significant somebody in the society of white men. After killing Mary, Bigger felt more important. Now he wasn’t just a simple nobody; now he was a man who was running from the law; he was an outlaw. He realized that now he was so important that his picture was on the front page of the newspaper. Now that he killed a white girl [Mary] the whole city knew his name.
Bigger admitted to the murder of Mary, and has been given the electric chair – death sentence. He has reached the final minutes of his life. He is scared of dying. Bigger, from the beginning of his life, only had two paths to go by in his life: to stick to what he has (meaning to stick with his low paying job, to barely survive on what he gets), or not take anyone’s “crap” and rebel. Bigger, however, unconsciously chose the second and the most extreme path; he chose to rebel. He chose this path unknowingly by killing Mary. He was immediately an outcast, an outlaw, and a hero in some people’s eyes.