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The American writer Ellison
describes "play[s] artfully upon the audience's sense of experience and form";
his audience is that which "he is called to play as a pianist upon a piano,"
though "this second instrument can be most unstable in its tuning, and
downright ornery in its responses," a fact that Ellison regards as "a special,
most American problem" (496). Such collaborative interaction between
writer and audience, Ellison explains, comprises an act of "democratic faith"
entailing "an incalculable scale of possibilities for self-creation" (494). (Hanlon, Pg. 5)

I chose this quote because it really stuck out to me. To think of a speaker playing his audience like a piano. This shows that a speaker must know what he or she is doing in order to get their audience to respond the way they want, much like a piano. A piano can become untuned and give you notes that are bitter to the sounds and that leave a bad taste in your mouth. As a speaker, one has to be aware of the fact that audiences are the same way. They can become untuned from the speech and throw out responses that make you cringe and want to quit. The narrator of invisible man knew this as he was stepping up to the microphone. He knew how to play his audience, how to get them to speak the notes he wanted them to. When the narrator did this, his speech just flew out of him, getting a great response from his instrument, his audience.


Christopher Hanlon said:

I'm glad you enjoyed my essay, Rob. I think you've picked out one of the most interesting parts of the argument for me, too: the idea of the speaker who plays upon his audience. Thanks for reading it, and more importantly, I hope you enjoyed _Invisible Man_.

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