Becoming Human

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"There is much irony in the narrator's statement that this speech for the

Brotherhood has effected his transmogrification, has allowed him to become

more "human," especially since though the protagonist's audience recognizes

and values this moment of becoming, the Brotherhood itself largely does not" (Hanlon p. 4).

I chose to write about this quote, because it is exactly how I envisioned the narrator while he was giving his speech. He seemed to be so different, so free. And while I am not sure that he really meant everything he said (and I do think he will later come to regret it), usually when someone is able to stand in front of a group of people and speak off topic - they are usually able to make a strong point. And I think that his is what the narrator did. He talks about knowing what despair is and not trusting the world, but learning to change - and suddenly the Brotherhood must interrupt. By this you can tell that he was moving away from what the Brotherhood felt - and the message they wanted to send. I already feel that by this point the Brotherhood has brainwashed him, and I felt that by this speech, and their strong reaction, you can see things will soon get worse for him. I hope that after his speech, and his new sense of "human" qualities, he will see how destructive being in the Brotherhood could become.

Other Thoughts...


Alyssa Sanow said:

I agree with you completely. In giving his speech, he was able to communicate freely (until the Brotherhood stopped him) about ideals that he believed would make a better world. Whether or not he believe this because the Brotherhood had brainwashed him or not is up to individual interpretation. They did, however, have a "blank slate" to work with because he no longer valued the ideals and principles he had been taught while at school. He did not know what to believe in and the Brotherhood offered him values, a belief system, and a sense of making a difference. I have no doubt he will regret his words, but his speech along with his expulsion and the many other experiences he will have in the novel are part of what will evenutally make him discover a true sense of self.

Christopher Dufalla said:

The Brotherhood is brainwashing the narrator. They thwarted his freedom of expression in order to continue with their own agenda. It's practically a propaganda campaign. When I think of the sensoring, I think of "Good Morning Vietnam" and "Forest Gump" (I know that both are Vietnam references, but the freedom of speech aspect is what I'm aiming at) when either Robin Williams' or Tom Hanks' characters try and express their true emotions without any boundaries, they are cut off from the audience. The Brotherhood is acting just like the sensoring twins or the devious police officer: there is a facade to put up and a protocal to follow.

Rosalind Blair said:

Chris, I liked your reference to Forest Gump! It was definitely not something I was able to connect, but I see how that could relate. It is interesting to see how quickly the narrator was able to give up the values he had learned in school and had lived by. Even though this is a work of fiction - it really shows how easy it is for individuals to become brainwashed to the poin that they did not even know what they believe in themselves. Or if they even believe in anything at all (other than the force that is destroying/controlling them).

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Rosalind Blair on Becoming Human: Chris, I liked your reference
Christopher Dufalla on Becoming Human: The Brotherhood is brainwashin
Alyssa Sanow on Becoming Human: I agree with you completely. I