Let`s move on to the second essay. Around page 154 in my edition Wolfe introduces us to a "Funky Character with Electric Hair." What is this character saying? How does it contrast with the earnest teacher`s views? What are the most disturbing implications? (Bonus: Who is Eldridge Cleaver, and how are these implications linked to his biography?) Is there any resonance here with the previous essay (or even with a particular aspect of Salinger)? How does it serve Wolfe`s rhetorical purposes to have a "Funky Character" (as opposed, say, to Wolfe himself) articulate these views? The main message of the “funky character with electric hair” is not to assume that one black person speaks for all, and more specifically that the Black Panthers or other well known black leaders don’t uniformly represent the poor dissatisfied urban blacks. We meet this student when a San Francisco English teacher reads Soul on Ice to her class.
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