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Lecture

Invisible Man.docx

2 pages105 viewsWinter 2013

Department
Environmental Studies
Course Code
ES295
Professor
David Morris

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EN218
January 25th, 2013
Lecture 9 (Missed 8)
Invisible Man cont’d
- Individual self-fashioning
o Central cultural preoccupation
o Democratic participation is a moral responsibility (Emerson)
o Uniqueness without a. losing sight of heritage (the Brotherhood)
and/or b. becoming consumed by heritage (Ras the Exhorter)
o Must look at race and also what is in himself that transcends race
(can’t lose sight of heritage, but also must look inside himself to see
what he is made up of)
o American democracy (principles are sound and solid and he believes
in them)
Must be extended practically, not just theoretically, to African
Americans as well
o Key to self-fashioning is done through art (i.e. blues)
Overcoming hardship, facing trauma, forging identity
o Ambivalence about what black is
o Blues/folk figures
Trueblood narrator not a fan of Trueblood, because he in
reminded of his heritage. Embodies stereotypes of African
Americans (simple, primitive). Argued that he is an “existential
hero” (pg 66). Defines himself despite others’ opinions. Makes
sense of incestuous relation with daughter, but does not ignore
it or pretend it didn’t happen.
Vet narrator rejects Vet who gives some of same advice of
Trueblood
Norton turns to him after Vet
Barbee identifies most with
Peter Wheetstraw form = content. Narrator does not
understand content of what people say to him, does not
understand the way people speak, does not understand the
relationship between form and content. Narrator plans to go
back to college and change the way he speaks to do better (he
will not be going back to college). Speech is narrator’s medium,
but he’s not very good with it
Mary Rambo voice who has transcended suffering and makes
something of it. In terms of a lesson, she offers transcendence.
Similar to Wheetstraw. Able to get passed narrator’s enormous
narcissism. She doesn’t have a means to an end with helping,
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