When Bigger gets the acceptance and love he has always wanted, he acts like he does not know what to do, because really, he does not. In Native Son, Bigger uses his instincts and acts like the white people around him have formed him to act. They way that he has been formed to act is to not trust anyone. Bigger gets the acceptance and love he wanted from Mary and Jan, but he still hates them and when they try to really get to know him, he ends up hurting them.
He is scared of them simply because he has never experienced these feelings before, and it brings attention to him from himself and others. Once Bigger accidentally kills Mary, he feels for the first time in his life that he is a person and that he has done something that somebody will recognize, but unfortunately it is murder. When Mrs. Dalton walks in and is about to tell Mary good night, Bigger becomes scared stiff with fear that he will be caught committing a crime, let alone rape.
If Mrs. Dalton finds out he is in there he will be caught so he tries to cover it up and accidentally kills Mary. The police ask why he did not just tell Mrs. Dalton that he was in the room, Bigger replies and says he was filled with so much fear that he did not know what else to do and that he did not mean to kill Mary. He was so scared of getting caught or doing something wrong that he just tried to cover it up.
This is one of the things that white people have been teaching him since he can remember. The white people have been teaching him to just cover things up by how the whites act to the blacks. If a white man does something bad to a black man the white man just covers it up a little and everything goes back to normal. I am amazed at how much the white community has influenced how black people acted back in the early nineteen hundreds. Back in the 1930’s, when this book took place, the white community influenced how African Americans acted because the whites always ridiculed them and always put them down and made them feel like they were nothing but a piece of property. For example, when the white people made the blacks pick cotton or when they only refer to them as 3/5 a person or by not giving them any rights.
Being treated like this had to have had a negative effect on how they lived there lives. It made them more precautious around people, more curious about people, and made them have a sense that they wanted to feel what it was like to be loved and respected. So Bigger was just a model of what growing up with negative surroundings can do to you. Bigger is not a threat, the negative surroundings were what the real threat was, and people still today need to realize this point.