Friday, November 16, 2012

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, November 16, 2012

Focus: Discussion of Invisible Man

1. Announcements!

2. Warm-up: Variations on a theme

  • Take one part of the Battle Royal and find a scene in a later chapter that echoes it/offers a variation of it.
  • Read the two scenes closely, finding as many specific parallels as possible. Write them down in your composition notebook.
  • How do the two scenes serve a similar purpose?
  • How and why do they differ?  In other words, how is one a variation of the other?
  • Why might Ellison offer us this echoed version of the Battle Royal in this particular moment?

3. Socratic seminar: Chapters 8-10 of Invisible Man

HW: Read Chapters....of Invisible Man to prepare for our next Socratic seminar on Monday, Nov 26; outline your poetry paper or compose the proposal for your poetry project (proposals due Tue).


  1. Socratic Seminar (11/16/2012)
    Responses to Warm Up:
    Comparison of letter to coins.
    Unknown danger present in both the letter and the coins.
    Subway to Harlem and doors open to royal
    Gathering of people represents the shock that is unexpected. World within a world
    Coins to Letters
    Obtains particular values and then comes to find out that they are false
    Paint and Battle scene
    White men are depicted as the superior race.
    Paint- built by one black man that was irriplacable
    Fight with tatlock vs. Brockway
    one black man condescending another
    Force vs. Words

    Similarities in Blodsoe and Luscious?
    More of Brockway speaking of how great he is
    With Brockway, he is more insecure about his position. He keeps saying how people need him.
    With Blodsoe he knows how people need him.
    Insecurity vs. power
    Can't Brockway be replaced?
    Position esier placed than Bledsoe
    Brockway's position is very concrete
    Blodsoe's is more metaphorical nothing really separates him from the others excpet for respects.
    Foils in alot of way
    Blodsoe is for appearance of power
    Brockway runs the entire painting company
    Both comtribute to metaphor
    Brockway is the heart of creating white paint
    (pg. 218)Jingle: optic white its the right white. Suggests that if you are white, then you are superior.
    Paint is called optic white. Similar to opitcal illusions. They only think it is white, but it really masks the black people well.
    (pg 217) Ellison makes a statement that white people can cover up whatever they want without getting caught.
    Brockway and Blodsoe and Tatlock are all very similar they have been given just enought power to make them cotent. In order to maintain their power, they have to put down other black men.
    pg 207. Entrance to the basement
    Sensing the position that Brockway isn't very dangerous. The lie is slowly becoming the truth.
    Fake hope
    pg 194. His version of a letter. Why do you think ellison would insert this false hope into all of these black people.
    "Keep him running"
    related back to his grandfather's words.
    The narrator keeps coming up with these on his own. He is realising the false hope and power in society.
    Bird imagery is evident when Dr. Blodsoe makes a cage with his hands.
    Brids symbolises freedom
    pg. 181 bird: caged in alternate reality.
    The narrator is caged wherever he goes.
    Pg 225: realization of brockway's motions.
    Clowns vs. Fools The narrator keeps going back to what his grandfather said
    White have realised the easiedt way to suppres the blacks is to provide them with this false hope.
    Pg 183: bottom of the page, at the beginning the narrator was disconnected from his own race, now he seems to be more connected to his own people.
    This false hope has been portayed through letter, and also on both sides.
    Evertime the narrator takes action he is punished
    North vs. South
    Caught between being northern black man or southern black mkan
    Pg 201 Mixing paint. Supposed to be the whitest white paint but has green tint to it. What may be the symbolism?
    Intentions may not be noticed until it becomes daker. Black will always have a presence there will always have a presence. The white people may not be as pure as the appear.
    Who is the bigger fool,THe indivual who plays the system, Blodsoe, or the narrator?
    Blodsoe because he loses out on life.
    The fool is the person that blends in. By blending in, you dont find your true identity.
    Is the narrator trying to blend in?
    No, at first he was, but now he seems like he will not be as invisible
    Interesting that the black becomes invisible in the white paint.
    The narrator doesnt play the game as much as he believed in it. In the chapel when speaking of college he enticed by the idea of knowledge, but ends up being betrayed by the colleged. This is when he stops believing in the game.
    pg 168: Jack the Bear
    Why is is referring to himself as "jack the bear" again.
    There is alot of animal imagery.

  2. pg 176: Blueprints vs. Jack in the beanstalk
    The narrator has been given magic beans (letters) but who is the giant supposed to be?
    Balances the idea of robin and bear
    Robin is beautiful Bear is violoent, this balances out with playing the game.
    interesting that there is a transition point between moving north or south. He is trying to figure out what will happen to him.
    Jack in the beanstalk finds nothing at the end of the story, maybe this will happen to the narrator as weel?
    Why do you think Ellison put this character in chapter 9? is he supposed to be a fool?
    The fact that he is carrying the blueprints is a turning point. Reality vs. Fantasy
    Black paints cannot live in idea anymore he must conform to society. The black paint is a symbol of the actions that are out of social boudary. The narrator then goes back to putting in the right amount of paint and then goes back to being invisible.
    pg 230: There is blast in boiling room transiton from blackness to whiteness is significant
    The narrator feels trapped in a cade
    Lucious parallel to Lucifer?
    Invisible mand compares to a chameleon. He chooses when he wants to stand out.
    pg 174: Charlie Chaplin reference is interesting because he is silent, yet powerful (mockery)
    pg 183: Secratary's dialogue is parallel to letter
    Encounter with union workers, suppression
    pg 198: Mascot is sreaming eagle, how is that symbolic?
    Why is the narrator unnamed?
    Dante's inferno vs. trip to basement
    Why did narrator perform the task of the paint so poorly?