ForumsDialogue is Action
Last Post Update: January 16
- 3+ Weeks of Credit: xwing37, Nicole, Carla Tortelli, Persephone
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Explain to me what IM is about without using race. GO!
@xwing37 I really liked the last thing you mentioned that when you have so much power you "begin to forget about your morals and where you came from". I think this is a big part of the book in relation to Bledsoe. He has become so consumed with showing the whites what they want to see that he has forgotten to take a step back and look at what he is really doing. Bledsoe has learned throughout his life that if he shows the whites what he believes they want to see, then he will in turn gain more power. Now that he has power, he continues to stick with this same idea because he is power hungry. He is not able to step back and determine if this is truly helping the race like he claims it does. He is not able to use his power for. apurpose, rather, he just wants more.
@aaparrot I completely agree! I think your point relates to the Vet and something he said to IM. He was talking to IM on his way up north and he said, "Play the game, but don't believe in it -that much you owe yourself" (pg153). I think this is a really interesting quote because it makes me question if there is a way to play in the game, but not lose your sense of self. Playing in the game requires you to be someone you are not around whites, but if you still know who you are inside does that matter? Or is it only what you show yourself as that speaks to your identity?
@theboulder I like the way you thought about power in the sense of a chain of command. How IM looks up to Bledsoe and how Bledsoe looks up to Mr. Norton and then the board members and so on. This makes me question if each person knows how it feels to be in some cases scared of or working nervously under those in who are in power over them, why don't they cut those beneath them some slack? I also wonder if we will meet someone later on in the story who fits into the chain of command below IM so that IM gets a chance to hold some power. It will be interesting to see what IM would do with his power and how he would treat that character.
@aplitstudent123 Hmm I wonder if we will. IM is at the bottom of the heap, it would be interesting to see his interactions with someone "under" him. However, there were the other boys in the Battle Royal. IM thought himself greater than them, both that is only from his point of view. Personally I don't think anyone is better or worse than each other, but did IM have more power than them? That is the greater question, and I don't know what the answer to that it.
Invisible man is about so much more than race. The novel contains themes of power, identity, and ambition. IM is encountered by multiple people and institutions that have a strong desire to maintain power. The best examples of these people and institutions are The Brotherhood, the white men at the battle royal, and Dr. Bledsoe. The whole book is the story of a young man searching for his identity, unsure about where to turn to define himself. It is undoubtedly clear that the narrator’s race comprises a large part of his identity, although this isn’t something he has necessarily chosen. Invisible Man can also in many ways be thought of as a coming-of-age novel, in which an ambitious young man attempts to rise up through a broken system that ultimately rejects him.
Invisible man has so many more meaning than race. The biggest idea I've seen is the clear struggle with identity that IM has. This book is about IM trying to find his place in society, and about the struggles he faces trying to get there. Another idea is power. IM so badly wants some form of power, and to some degree wants to be like Bledsoe. IM has gotten curious about money as well, and wants to be on the good sides of many powerful men (white men). He also views himself as more than some of his fellow black people, which I think has something to do with power as well, but hopefully this gets explored more later in the book.
I really have two major takeaways from the novel and for me at least while race is an important piece is really is just a part of the puzzles for me. I feel like that race could be used as a tool to distract readers who are taking a larger look at the novel as a collective. For me, Invisible man is a Character study that has to do with two themes that stood out to me in a major way is that of trauma and existentialism. I think that these ideas take more of a precedent to race in the novel because for me race is a cause not an effect to use that language it is a driving force for which other ideas can be put through. For example, trauma is a major factor I think the major traumatic experience in his life is the battle royale which does happen because of his race. The important part wasn't that it was racist ( which obviously it was). It was how it affected the IM down the road this is the approach i started to take after chiz said "This novel isn't about race
@persephone, I think power is super important in the book. You can clearly see IM envying the power that white men and Bledsoe hold. I don't blame him for thinking that because he has always been at the lowest end of the chain for his entire life. I'm curious to see what IM would do with power. Would he use the power to do good for fellow black people, or would he become power hungry and forget about what he used to care about like Bledsoe? I want to hear other people's thoughts and this question because I've been curious about it for a while.
To put it simply It's about a man fitting into society with the voices of people before him telling him what will and won't work. Through it Invisible Man has to use the power of blending in to the background as a means of fitting into social norms.
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