ForumsDialogue is Action
Last Post Update: January 16
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Paint Factory and Factory Hospital
@jacksonvon Do you think that even though the memories and trauma he once had are now gone, that he still needs to "get the help which he needed?" I am slightly confused on what you are talking about here. Do you still think that the burden of the trauma he endured is still weighing on him, but he cant get the help he needs because he doesn't remember what is making the burden? Or do you think that there is no burden because the trauma is gone?
@snowyyeti To add on to this question, do you think trauma ever truly leaves him or do you think it ever leaves anyone? I think it's a matter of how you present yourself and he does a great job at trying to stay as average as possible.
@snowyyeti Sorry I know some of that must've seen like rambling. I think that because he has lost his trauma the issue I have with this is the lost part of what makes him a person. We all struggle and have bad things that happen to us in our lives. IM is no exception to this rule he has suffered more in his life than any man should. The solution the doctors had to this problem was to go and erase this from him. This is like trying to forget what happened to you and not face it. I don't think making people into robots as they did with IM is the solution. The operation doesn't actually solve the issues that he faces because he cannot face himself.
@abuzz This is the way that society worked during slavery, and after it and I think that this symbolism is very powerful in the book. The only person who was able to make the whole factory run was a black person, yet the white people in power still paid him much lower wages than he deserved. What troubled me about this part of the book was that Brockway refused to see reason, and even though joining the union would have greatly improved his situation, Brockway became violent at the idea of the factory union, even though Brockway was supporting people who were treating him unjustly.
@mangoman I don't think trauma can ever leave someone. There is always someplace where you hold on to that memory and situation. Even though you present yourself one way, you can have a whole different thought inside your head. Trauma is a weird thing, and it something that humans hold on to and remember. Trauma from when you are a kid can be vividly clear in the present. But to answer your question, no I don't think the trauma ever leaves him, I think he just conceals it.
@jacksonvon I have just one problem with what you just said. Your reasoning for why the doctors performed the surgery on IM. I dont think they did it to make him forget about his trauma. I think they did it to him so he couldn't cause anymore problems. He did damn near blow the paint factory to bits. We talked about in class how the surgery they performed on him was similar to a lobotomy, and lobotomies were used to almost put patients into a vegetative state to cause no more trouble, and this is what they wanted to do with IM. They did not want to rid him of his trauma, just control him.
@snowyyeti I wasn't arguing that the doctor was fixing his trauma but I think that in my discussion of the surgery scene. I know that but it was how you needed to look at it for the way I was framing the discussion about the trauma of the invisible man before and after surgery. I was looking at the surgery's effects more metaphorically than physically describing the effects of the lobotomy. It was more of rebirth as suggested by carl jung. I think you misunderstood the purpose of what i was saying i hope this clears it up
@jacksonvon I totally agree. After the surgery scene we see a noticeable difference in IMs behavior, that stems from the fact that he lost much of his identity at the hands of the doctors. What the doctors did was awful, and it caused a huge change in how IM responds to authority, even talking back to the doctors immediately following the procedure which is something I don't think IM would have done before the surgery happened. After the surgery scene we can see that IM is beginning to stand up for himself more.
@jacksonvon Ahhhh. This does clear it up and I think that is a good point. I think I was looking at it too literally. Not through the right lense. I agree that the surgery was no solution to the problem even remotely. Like you said, making people into robots is nowhere near the answer to the problem. Not only that but it is completely messed up.
To add on to @jacksonvon , I think erasing some of his past trauma was a way for the hospital to make IM become controllable. This is unsettling, but I feel if the hospital was looking for a sort of reward, they may be using IM (or will use him in the future) as a sort of guinea pig to control his thinking. For what I'm still unsure but it's just an idea. I also find myself wondering if the brotherhood and the hospital are related directly or not... Is the brotherhood secretly working for the hospital to try and manipulate him? If so, for what exactly?
@persephone I think that you do bring up an interesting point drawing a connection between the doctors and the brotherhood. I hadn't really considered a connection between the two until you brought that to my attention. Now that you say that I can see that there could be a connection between the two. I do find it interesting that he meets brother jack right after his surgery. Brother jack is someone who finally seems to come to the aid of the invisible man and takes so much interest in his life. all of this happens after the surgery. so I think this is something i need to look into
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