A Communist active in Chicago, and Mary’s boyfriend, Jan meets up with Mary and Bigger the night of the murder, and does all he can to treat Bigger with kindness—although Bigger resents Jan’s attempts. Bigger then implicitly blames Jan for Mary’s murder, hoping that authorities will be fooled, and although some believe that Jan might have “made a pact” with Bigger in order for Mary to be killed, Jan’s name is later cleared. Jan has his friend Max, a lawyer for the Communists, represent Bigger at his trial, and Bigger’s last words to Max, at the novel’s end, are to tell Jan that he says goodbye.
Jan Quotes in Native Son
The Native Son quotes below are all either spoken by Jan or refer to Jan. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Harper Perennial edition of Native Son published in 1993.).
Book 1 Quotes
Book 2 Quotes
Book 3 Quotes
Bigger, I’ve never done anything against you and your people in my life. But I’m a white man and it would be asking too much to ask you not to hate me, when every white man you see hates you . . . .
Jan Character Timeline in Native Son
The timeline below shows where the character Jan appears in Native Son. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...is to interview later that day; and her friend, a known Communist sympathizer, is named Jan. The newsreel is a kind of “popular” or human-interest story about the “outrageous” young Ms.... (full context)
...Dalton’s embarrassment about Mary’s disappearance—which she believes is a result of Mary’s sexual impropriety with Jan—will cause her not to grill him too harshly. Bigger makes it seem that Jan came... (full context)
...straight in order to keep the authorities from figuring out that Bigger is lying about Jan’s presence in the house, and other details of the previous night. Bigger takes the trunk... (full context)
...more detail with his story, in order to convince the Daltons and the authorities that Jan is responsible for Mary’s disappearance. Bigger tells the story of the night more or less... (full context)
...traced on the letter), and writes a ransom note, pretending to be a Communist from Jan’s group called “Red.” The note, scrawled quickly, asks for ten thousand dollars to be brought... (full context)
...Buckley immediately that Bigger will be signing no confessions; Buckley, who is contemptuous of Max, Jan, and all Communists, says that his office doesn’t need a confession to convict Bigger, since... (full context)