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"Emerson's model of spoken composition, proceeding from the recognition
that every listener is also a potential speaker ("How many orators sit
mute there below!" [1903-04, 7. 63]), also captures the most charged
moments of eloquence to appear in Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, a novel that
measures the self-reliance of its nameless protagonist through his growing
acumen as a public speaker. Midway through the novel, Ellison's narrator
stands before a massive audience after his initiation into the political organization
called the Brotherhood, observing that "The audience seemed to
have become one, its breathing and articulation synchronized" much like the
"social organism" or "battery" to which the Emersonian speaker both
addresses and connects himself." 75

I find it perfectly fitting that Ralph Waldo Emerson and Ralph Waldo Ellison have some contact. While it may not have been completely intentional, I'm sure Emerson influenced Ellison in some way. Throughout the novel I noticed how much speeches had such a musical quality, and how powerful the whole mood of them was. At first, not to sound racist or anything, I thought it was because they were in a black church (this is where I noticed the strength of the speeches). However, as I went on Ellison was just trying to create that mood throughout the novel to show how great a speaker the narrator is. I really enjoyed this article, and I learned a lot from it.



Aja Hannah said:

I did also enjoy the musical quality of the speeches. As Jerz said before, Ellison was named for Emerson so I'm sure his parents either read to him or made him read some. Reading the article was interesting because I didn't know Emerson had so much tie to (or to say about) eloquence and now I can see how the two are connected.

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