Mr. Wiggins improved as aperson greatly in this book, and that helped his relationshipswith other people for the most part. At the start of the book,he more or less hated Jefferson, but after a while he becamehis friend and probably the only person Jefferson felt hecould trust. The turning point in their relationship was the onevisit in which Jefferson told Mr. Wiggins that he wanted agallon of ice cream, and that he never had enough ice creamin his whole life.
At that point Jefferson confided somethingin Mr. Wiggins, something that I didn’t see Jefferson doingoften at all in this book. “I saw a slight smile come to hisface, and it was not a bitter smile. Not bitter at all”; this is thefirst instance in which Jefferson breaks his somber barrierand shows emotions. At that point he became a man, not ahog.
As far as the story tells, he never showed any sort ofemotion before the shooting or after up until that point. Ahog can’t show emotions, but a man can. There is theepiphany of the story, where Mr. Wiggins realizes that thepurpose of life is to help make the world a better place, andat that time he no longer minds visiting Jefferson and beginsbecoming his friend. Mr. Wiggins’ relationship with his Auntdeclined in this story, although it was never very strong.
HisAunt treated him like he should be a hog and always obey,yet she wanted him to make a hog into a man. His Aunt wasnot a very nice person, she would only show kindnesstowards people who shared many of her views, andtherefore was probably a very hard person to get along with. The way Mr. Wiggins regarded his relationships most likelywould have been different were he white.
Mr. Wiggins feels,and rightly so, that several white men try to mock or make afool of him throughout the story. This was a time of racialdiscrimination with much bigotry, so if the story took place inthe present, it would be much different. In fact, thereprobably would have not even been a book because in themodern day, and honest and just jury would have found himinnocent due to the lack of evidence.
It wasn’t really clearwhat sort of situation Mr. Wiggins was in regarding money,but he could not have been too well off because he neededto borrow money to purchase a radio for Jefferson, and hecommented about the Rainbow Cafe: ;When I was broke, Icould always get a meal and pay later, and the same wentfor the bar. ; I suppose he had enough money to get by, butnot much extra. As the book progresses he probably hadless money to work with due to the money he was spendingto buy the radio, comic books, and other items for Jefferson. Mr.
Wiggins seemed to be well respected by thecommunity, and he felt superior to other African Americansbecause he was far more educated than they were. Thatmakes Mr. Wiggins guilty of not practicing what hepreaches, although Jefferson probably made it clearer to himthat the less intelligent are still humans with feelings. At thestart of the book, Mr. Wiggins did not understand this. Hewent to visit Jefferson because Miss Emma and his Auntmore or less forced him to do it.
He really had no motivationexcept that he would be shunned by his Aunt if he did notcomply. The whole process of Mr. Wiggins’ developmentand the plot of this story both spawn from the crimes of twocharacters with no other relevance to the story. After thepolice found Jefferson at the liquor store with the deadbodies all around, he was of course taken to trial and thetimes being what they were, he was convicted with very littledoubt that he would be found innocent. Miss Emma, hisgodmother was afraid that he would die a hog and havelived a meaningless life.
She wanted him “Not to crawl to thewhite man, but to .