Harper Perennial: New York. In his act of destruction, Bigger accomplished something significant, something that mattered.
He refused to live on empty hope and voluntary ignorance. Usually this leads to literary mediocrity think Ayn Randbut Wright pulls it off admirably for two reasons.
Bigger is that rare lead character in literature that is not meant to garner our sympathy, although sometimes he does.
This is just one example of Bigger turning to violence when he is uncertain and feels pressure. Another scene with creates vast amounts of sympathy for Richard is act 2 scene 2 when Richard's mother is talking about him.
Black lives matter more today than inbut not as much as they should. Our country would not exist, modern technology would not have been created, and we would miss all our opportunities to improve our lives.
A minor theme is the relationship between men and women.