Native Son
Native Son
by Richard Wright
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The Pigeon Flying Away

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

In Book One: Fear (1.291), Bigger and Gus "play white," demonstrating how powerful they think whites are and how trapped they feel in their own lives. When they finish, the young men watch as a pigeon lands on the cable car tracks and struts around, then flies away as a street car approaches. That’s when Bigger admits he wishes he could be just like that pigeon, free to fly away. The pigeon represents freedom, the ability to go where he wants when he wants, instead of being stuck where he is.

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