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Analysis

What’s Up With the Title?

The title is a slam on American society. Bigger Thomas, the novel’s main character, is a "native son" of America: he was born and raised as a black man in the U.S., so he’s a product of the country. Local cultural and social forces shaped and created him. So if he’s a monster, the title suggests, it can be blamed on American society. And this is precisely what Max, Bigger’s lawyer, argues in Bigger’s defense after Bigger commits murder – twice.

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