ForumsDialogue is Action
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Chapter 11-IM Unafraid
Today in class, we discussed chapter eleven, when IM is in the hospital. However, we never addressed what happened once he left the hospital. I felt that this was a very noteable passage and worth discussing. On page 249, IM states, "I was no longer afraid. Not of important men, not of trustees and such; for knowing now that there was nothing which I could expect from them, there was no reason to be afraid." I feel that this is a huge turning point for IM. IM starts this first half basically, concerned what the white men will think, going about in society seemingly almost naive. IM is changing though and once chapter ten rolls around and he fights Brockway (that was another surprising change of IM), this is very clear. This quote I have pulled shows this realization of IM, an epiphany! Which I am sure we will be seeing this new belief played out among the upcoming chapters. Where do you think this change stems from? Do you think the lobotomy plays a part in this realization perhaps? Is it all of the things we have read about just adding up all at once? I'm interested in hearing your thoughts...
@gil I also thought that this was a very important turning point for IM but it confused my slightly. I am glad that you brought this part up because I too, and curious in what others think about the reasoning for this change. Part of me wants to say that the modified lobotomy was the reason for the change in the way that IM is acting, but him beating the living crap out of Brockway was an example of the change in behavior and that was before the modified lobotomy! This part is a huge turning point for IM but it is frustrating for me because I can't put my finger on what has caused it.
Oh and one more thing that proves this turning point is the speech he gave to the group watching the old black couple get evicted. What the heck caused that??? We have never seen him like that before, giving a speech because he felt compelled to. Was it that experimentation on him?
I too am a little bit confused on what sparked this turning point for him. At this point I think so much has happened to him that he doesn't care anymore. I feel like in chapter 11 IM is at his lowest in life. He got expelled from the university and clearly doesn't like the factory job very much. So at this point I think IM has nothing else to lose, so he's going to do what he wants. When he beat up Brockway I was amazed, it seemed really out of nowhere. Obviously IM was getting annoyed with him, but I never would've imagined him beating him up. This span of chapters was really interesting to me, and are my favorite so far.
This was a pretty important part of the chapter- if not the whole book. I honestly just think IM is just tired of the bullshit. He's probably just sick and tired of letting people push him around, always telling him what to do, how to act, who he needs to be, and how he needs to be the 'ideal' Black American. I think the hospital 'curing' him just set him off.
@klynnph I couldn't even start to imagine what Invisible Man has to deal with on a day to day basis. I think when he lashes out it isn't even in his control, it's sad but IM seems to be a really witty and smart guy but he is never dealt a good hand, and never put in a fair situation.
IM seems to be a really witty and smart guy but he is never dealt a good hand, and never put in a fair situation
I agree that a lot of this book, I also find myself saying, "Poor IM, this is so unfair. His life is so awful." However, recently I was discussing this book with my sister and we were talking about how a lot of this book we are thinking, "this is so sad, he is so defenseless and naïve". But then IM will add a comment or something every once and a while that causes a double take and think, wait. Is he really SO innocent? Don't get me wrong I feel very sorry for IM, he has the worst circumstances. I can't even imagine his pain and hardships, like that terrifying lobotomy, I do feel awful for IM.
That being said I do want to explore this idea/feeling of IM being naïve. A lot of the time it seems like he is, but then he says something, like the grandfather's guilt, it makes you question that notion. I'm sure I'm not the only one that has noticed this!
Do you guys think IM is naïve? Taking it a step further, do you think IM is a good guy?
@gil These are very good questions that I too have been asking myself. I think that IM is misled and lost. I think that he does not know his place in the world which makes him naive. Also, I think that he just has plain bad luck. The procedure he had done, similar to a lobotomy seemed to me like bad luck. Wrong place wrong time was the cause of that. If he hadn't run into the union workers, there would have been no fight and therefore no lobotomy. Maybe naive is not the right term though. I think that IM has trouble navigating a racial separated society and he is learning how to navigate this society through learning lessons the hard way. Every lesson he seems to learn is the hard way.
I definitely think it was very significant that IM only gained this fearlessness at the cost of his literal identity. When I read this I struggled to find out why this happened, and i think that it comes from the fact that IM was taught his entire life to conform to what other people want. From one of the first scenes we see, the battle royale, IM is trying to suck up to the white people, so I think that by losing his memory, it kind of erased that desire to conform to the wills of others, and I think that is the reason that IM finally had that realization.
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