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"'What a time to be born,' the protagonist thinks as he passes by, and it should be clear here that the birth with which Ellison is concerned is the protagonist's new birth as a public intellectual."
"Eloquence and Invisible Man," Christopher Hanlon (93)

For the record, I liked this second academic article much better.  I thought it kept a tighter focus on the topic, and retained a higher interest level for the reader.  Many passages from Invisible Man that Hanlon centered on and provided explanations to I found useful in aiding my own understanding of the work. For instance the passage I selected wasn't so clear to me, I remember being confused over why Ellison chose to insert this brief labor moment into the story.  Once Hanlon mentioned rebirth, I thought "Oh...."  I'm still taken back by the many functions a minute detail can hold in a story.  It's funny thinking back to how I once read, especially in association with the topic of invisibility, because I was blind to all the invisible connections.  It has been like being let in on a secret. I was also surprised to hear that the protagonist's speech at the "Battle Royal" was not Ellison's own thoughts but in fact the words of Booker T. Washington.


RosalindBlair said:

I agree, I definitely liked this academic article better than the first. I think that it was much easier to understand, and provided a lot of good insight into the novel for me. Hanlon article had information that helped me to further understand my own blog entry on the theme of blindness in the novel.

Andrew Adams said:

Ellison puts so much detail into almost every line of the book, I know exactly how you feel. I think it really is a testament to how well the book is written.

As for the article, I completely agree. The other article was boring and kind of out there. This author keeps on track and does it in a way that made the article fun to read.

April M. Minerd said:

So, the I's have it. This was a much more useful article than the first.
I appreciate the comments. Thanks!

Jennifer Prex said:

I read right over that as well. It does make sense that the birth reference is made because of the protagonist's rebirth.

I am incredibly flattered, and glad my essay was useful for you. _Invisible Man_ is a novel I've been struggling with since I was first told to read it by a professor, and I still don't feel like I know all its secrets. There's a lot more to find out about how it produces meaning, I think. Thanks, all of you, for being such careful readers of my work.

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Recent Comments

christopher Hanlon on Rebirth: I am incredibly flattered, and
Jennifer Prex on Rebirth: I read right over that as well
April M. Minerd on Rebirth: So, the I's have it. This was
Andrew Adams on Rebirth: Ellison puts so much detail in
RosalindBlair on Rebirth: I agree, I definitely liked th
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