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by Richard Wright
Bessie Mears Timeline and Summary
Bessie says hi to Bigger when he comes to Ernie’s Kitchen Shack, but she leaves when she sees Jan and Mary. Bessie welcomes Bigger into her place the day after Bigger killed Mary. She sleeps with Bigger. When Bigger tells her how Mary is missing and that they could get some money out of the situation, Bessie gets worried. She asks him if he’s done something to that white girl. She doesn’t really want to have anything to do with the ransom note, but when coerced, she reluctantly becomes a part of it. Bessie is worried more than ever when Bigger returns later after Mary’s body has been discovered. When Bigger admits he killed Mary after all, Bessie gets worried that he might kill her too. Worried and nervous and crying, Bessie leaves with Bigger because she feels she has no other option. In an abandoned building, Bigger rapes Bessie, then kills her, knowing he can’t take her (she’s crying too much) or leave her (she’ll reveal all), he throws her body down an airshaft. Bessie’s body is presented to the court as part of the evidence against Bigger.