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Mr. Boris Max

Character Analysis

Like Bigger, Max feels a deep sense of exclusion from American society. As a Jew and a Communist, he suffers in myriad ways because American society is dictated by the prejudices of the majority. Perhaps because of his own experiences living on the fringes of society, Max is willing and able to understand Bigger’s life story. He sympathizes with the idea that factors outside of Bigger’s control created the conditions that caused Mary’s death. He makes a compelling argument for the judge that life inside prison would allow Bigger to live as a man among equals for the first time in his life. Disappointed at his failure to convince the judge, Max takes on the burden to convince the governor to grant a stay of execution. He fails at that, too. However, in the final scene, despite Max’s sense of failure, he does connect with Bigger. He is ultimately the one who helps Bigger see his worth as a human being, no matter what he’s done or not done in the short time of his life.

Mr. Boris Max Timeline
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