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Dialogue is Action

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Dr. Bledsoe  

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aplitstudent123
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@savhoisington This is a great point. I also agree that I would consider it to be understandable to as you said, to "bend the cards in your favor" in order to reach individual success in a society that is pinned against you. However, to me, Bledsoe crosses the line the second he claims that he is helping other blacks and students reach success as well, when in reality he is manipulating them as well. There is no reason for him to do this seeing as there isn't anything for him to gain. He already holds a position of power, so why not help others? Why "fake" help them? Why send IM away in such a wrong way? To me, he absolutely crosses the line when he is disrupting other's paths just for his own amusement.


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Gil
 Gil
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@savhoisington Yes! While his motives could be justified for rising in society, at first, what he did to IM just seemed so unnecessary! 

But also-can we talk about when IM thinks about Bledsoe in chapter 13? I feel that this yam scene is his realization in chapter 11 extended. In this scene, it seems that IM is offically connecting and expressing his anger for Bledsoe! Before this chapter, it was mostly, what will he think? He's trying to help me, I think...Now he wants nothing more than to put him in his place! You can really feel all of IM's frustration, and I can honestly relate. Sometimes you are just so angry at someone that you just imagine them being punished for what they did to you and you just wish you could put them in their place! What did you guys think of this passage? Do you think the purpose of it is to demonstrate how IM is really growing with his thinking and making more and more realizations?


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bunkymoo
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@aplitstudent123 this really bothered me as well. I had a feeling something bad was coming when he gave him the letters because that's the type of person he is. He is selfish and doesn't care about anyone but himself. He went out of his way to write letters to humiliate IM. What was Bledsoe's reasoning? Why didn't he just tell him to leave instead? I was wondering so many things after I found this out. 


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aplitstudent123
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@bunkymoo I think the reason for him doing this was because he has become so caught up with the life he has been living and the people around him he has had to deceive and trick that he cannot break this patter. It is as if he has turned on a light where he must trick others and wear a mask, and now that he has achieved a position of power and "respect" from the whites, he cannot switch that switch off. It is an interesting thing to think about in a way. Bledsoe claims that he is only "wearing a mask" and that isn't his true identity. Yet, he continue to deceive and make these same choices that prove that his mask has become his identity


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Persephone
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@gil I think this passage was incredibly important to IMs character development. Before this yam scene, he was more or less trying to please everyone around him, even if it meant putting himself down, but after going through these emotions in the yam scene and finally letting his frustration out, he has gone from trying to please everyone, to trying to please himself. This is a huge turning point for him and I think it's what prompted him to actively take a stand in society, rather than "playing the game."


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SnowyYeti
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@persephone  I agree with this but I also think that I have something to add to this.  I think that not only his mindset changed so now he is done trying to please everyone, but I think that this is super important because he is accepting his heritage.  He is accepting the fact that he is black and he shouldn't have to work to please white people, he should be trying to fight for his rights.  His accepting who he is is clear through the lines "I yam what I yam!"


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DeepThought
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@snowyyeti I think that the yam scene was huge as far as showing us a change in IM. When IM decided to eat the yams he was finally doing something for no other reason than he wanted to. I think this was a moment when Im started to shift away from his habit of trying to be a yes-man like his grandfather wanted, and instead IM is starting to live en-soi, and develop his own ideas and thoughts.


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wildsalmon
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@bunkymoo This just reminded me of the end of chapter 1 where IM's dream has him opening up envelope after envelope after envelope. I mean it's basically a perfect parallel to what Bledsoe made him do, instead of giving him nothing he gave him a fake promise just to keep him running. 


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xwing37
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@bunkymoo, I agree, I never really disliked Bledsoe throughout the book, I just disagreed with his views. But when this happened and we were shown his true thoughts and the way he feels, my thoughts were solidified too. I disliked him because of the way he thought of himself, he thought of himself as a god like figure who can do whatever he wants and control whoever he wants. I was happy to see IM move on to a new chapter of his life away from Bledsoe so he didn't get manipulated or controlled by him. I feel like if IM stayed at the university having Bledsoe as a mentor he may have followed in his footsteps. Not because IM is a bad person but because being shown all that power will make anyone want it. But I think Bledsoe is a big part of the book not because he was a liked character, but because he pushed IM away which led to a better life.


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FRANKLIN
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Although I haven't finished the book yet(I will soon though), I wanted to chime in on my perception of Bledsoe and how it kinda evolved as I got farther into the book. At the beginning, I perceived him as a heroic figure who has paved the way for many people to become successful. I attribute this perception to IM basically idolizing him. My opinion's on Bledsoe altered after IM was kicked out of the school and Bledsoe supposedly sent him with good letters of recommendations to help him get a job in NYC, or so we thought he did. I thought that was cutthroat of him but it could have been an act of revenge on IM for what happened with Mr. Norton. I am intrigued to see how my views will change even more as I get close to finishing the book. It seems to me that IM still envies Bledsoe's success and status in society but now seeks revenge on him. 


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xwing37
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@snowyyeti, he definitely hit a turning point and it was very obvious. I feel like he started doing stuff for himself when he left the university instead of doing things for white people. And it was good to see him be a better and stronger person. I think the "I yam what I yam" quote is the most clear turning point we see in the book. I feel like he was kind of just saying that he was going to act like he wants to and not change his actions for anyone else. Because when he was at the university he was constantly trying to please white people like Mr. Norton. So it was a very powerful turning for him and it was a big decision to start basing his actions off of what he wants.


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aplitstudent123
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@persephone I agree. I think IM really struggled with his attempts to constantly please everyone. From his speech early on in the book, to all his experiences at college, this was definitely a struggle for him. Character development wise, this was a huge moment for him. The realization that he no longer has to please as well as understanding that pleasing people won't truly get him anywhere anyways. IM now had a new motivation to work for himself and only for himself. This is huge for him seeing as all of his life he was going along just as society had wanted him to.


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