If it werent for fear, nothing would happen in the novel. It has its roots in being a survival mechanism, but also being a social norm in the black community.
Segregated housing in North and South. Richard Wright was born on a Rucker plantation in Adams County, Mississippi. Britten followed Bigger till Biggers head struck the wall. Not only is he afraid of death in general, but he is especially afraid of death at the hands of white people. Blacks are afraid of whites, whites are afraid of blacks, women are afraid of men, and everyone is afraid of communists. Jan Erlones transformation, which he conveys to Bigger in their meeting in Biggers cell. After he had killed her, he did not really show any signs of regret, but devising a master plan to get rid of the body. But doesnt this go against the standard fight for equality and civil rights by blacks?