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Annotation Guide to Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Annotation Guide to Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison -...

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Unformatted text preview: Reading Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man Pre Reading 0 Get ready! It is a race from start to finish. - The pacing feels frenetic just as the narrator‘s life feels frenetic. According to Ellison’s contemporary literary critic Irving Howe, the tempo of the book is “feverish, almost hysterical”. 0 Review Modernism. This novel comes after Fitzgerald chronologically and is stylistically more daring. There will be sections written in stream of consciousness where the reality of the situation is unclear. Just go with it. - Might look over the guides at the following web site: ht ~afilreis 50$ ellison-main.html : www.wri.tin .u enn.edu They could help you with plot, approaches, critical response, etc. Reading The opening chapter is super intense. Is it a nightmare or is it real? It is helpful to chunk the novel by geography and the narrator's mental state: Home town—Battle Royal (Ch. 1) School (Ch. 2-6) Bus ride North (Ch. 7) New York City pre-epiphany (Ch. 8-12) Epiphany (Ch. 13) Rise in Brotherhood (Ch. 14-17) Relieved of duty in Harlem (Ch. ‘18) Questioning/wandering (Ch. 19-20) Funeral and reaction (Ch. 21-22) Who am I? What makes identity (Ch. 23) Riot (Ch. 24) End (Ch 25+epilogue) Annotation Guide PLOT As you read, keep yourself focused by recording brief plot summaries as important events occur throughout the chapters. No need to code. CHARACTERIZATION Note examples of characterization of the Invisible Man (narrator) as well as other prominent characters. . . might include: Mr. Norton, Jim Trueblood, Dr. Bledsoe, Homer Barbee, the vet, Mary, Mr. Emerson, Lucius Brockway, Brother Jack, Brother Clifton, Ras, Brother Tarp, the married woman, Rinehart, Sybil SETTING Note setting descriptions of the various locations and trace the significance of the narrator’s journey. Might include: His underground home, his college, Liberty Paints, Harlem, Mary’s boarding house... MOTIFS Blindness/sight/eyes, food, fighter/fighting, time, dreams, advice, colors, the bear, voices, songs/music, masks, rebirth, light/dark THEMATEC TOPICS The search for identity, dispossession-—physicalfemotional, isolation, invisibility, reconciliation with past SYMBOLS Briefcase and the obiects within (letter from Bledsoe, anonymous letter, leg iron, doll, bank, diploma. ..), yarn, Rinehart, Brother Jack, Brother Clifton, Homer Barbee, the statue at the school, light ...
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