Weekly Writing Due Sep. 24, 8pm

PROMPT: Imagine if we were to take Invisible Man as THE standard of what a “literary” work should look like. What might that mean? What seems to be an important feature or virtue of this text that someone who assigns it seems to value? What’s a specific detail or moment in the text that illustrates your point?

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20 thoughts on “Weekly Writing Due Sep. 24, 8pm

  1. I think that if the ‘Invisible man” were to be the source of what American literature should consist of, it would be super detailed for us to set up a picture in our minds of what a narrator would try to be getting across. Almost as if we were experiencing whats happening in the work ourselves. Additionally, it would be emotional. The way the invisible man portrays himself he seems lonely and vulnerable.

  2. In my opinion, if the Invisible Man became the standard of what a “literary” work should look like, it would be told in a first person view. We the reader, would feel like we were being told a story straight from the main character; as if the character was talking right to us and making us feel a sense of his pain. The story is being told to us in such a manner that it creates a strong insight into the characters daily life. I believe an important feature or virtue that would make someone assign this text to us is that it reveals a certain truth about our society. A truth about the society in which we live is we treat some people “invisible” and it became the norm. We ignore people and we pick and choose where to become human. A specific detail from the text that illustrates my point of view is “I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me”. This highlights my point; people choose to ignore one another, for example, while walking down the block, in subway cars, buses, the park, etc, we look beyond and keep walking forth without greeting one another. I for one am guilty of this as well. We aren’t invisible, we should behave more like humans.

    • Some people were treated as “invisible” because some of us choose to ignore them. People choose to ignore them intentionally. The reason could be vary, but the point is the same. Because of your skin color, your race or your bornland.

  3. I think that if we were to take The Invisible Man as the standard for what a “literary” work should look like, that would mean that every text we were assigned would have to give us a new perspective. We would have to be able to glean a new point of view from a text, just like The Invisible Man communicates to us. Related to this, as we discussed in class, a possible important feature of The Invisible Man that someone who assigns this text would value, is that it teaches people new values and new ways of thinking. In the prologue, the narrator imparts eye-opening information to the reader about what he experiences in his daily life as an invisible person. His explanation of how people treat him, how people look at him, and how he reacts to these encounters is intended to make readers look through the eyes of someone else and imagine what it would be like to be in his shoes. The reader does not even have to dissect and analyze the text to figure out the predicament of the narrator. Rather, the latter outright explains his invisibleness as an African American, and even relays a story about a violent confrontation he had with a white man to further illustrate his point. Although this value of teaching a new perspective may not be the only thing necessary to call something a “literary” work, it is definitely an important feature.

  4. If we take The Invisible Man as our standard for what a “literary” work should look like, it means that every text we used should have to reflect America culture, life and its diversity. The Invisible Man addresses many of the social and discrimination issues facing African Americans early in the last century, including black racism, the relationship between black identity and others, and the reformist racial policies, as well as issues of individuality and personal identity. The invisile Man has some own opinions and attitude related to America culture. For instance, it reveals some truth in our society. Some people were treated as “invisible” because some of us choose to ignore them. People choose to ignore them intentionally. The reason could be vary, but the point is the same. Because of your skin color, your race or your bornland. In addition, the text appeal that we should accept any different culture, and brave to confront the unfair. This is the main feature of a mainstream literary work.

    • Hi Siwei Xu, I cannot agree more. He experienced the ups and downs of life, which made him start to think about his own existence value. We should accept and understand cultural diversity and keep the faith in the most difficult circumstances.

  5. If we were to take the Invisible Man as the standard of what a literary work should look like then we would focus almost solely learning a narrator’s life, personality, views, and lessons from their point of view. It seems that the narrator feels so cornered and lonely in life that he uses his writing as a platform to speak about his personal grievances, concerns, loneliness and how the world around him contributes to those negative emotions and states of being. Someone who assigns this text may seem to value a strong understanding of self, because throughout the entire plot of this story, this narrator seems places himself into the state of invisibility from others. I would image that the importance of learning “self” is to learn things that you wouldn’t usually notice about yourself in the hustle and bustle of the busy world. For example, the narrator described his love for Armstrong’s music, and that the power in Armstrong’s music comes from its ability to change one’s sense of time. This is important because by learning something like that about yourself, you can start to understand how you break your time up throughout your daily routine subconsciously. You begin to learn how much time is spent not doing anything productive, how much time is spent on work, how much time is spent personal goals, and how much time is (or isn’t) spent on self-reflection for the long day you just lived through.

  6. If we were to take Invisible Man as the standard of what “literary” work should look like, I think that most forms of literature would give us a view of someone else’s perspective in life. In the case of the Invisible Man, the author uses the narrator’s perspective to touch on social and cultural issues that are relevant and current in our society. I think someone who assigns this text would value multiple of its features. On top of expressing a new perspective, it contains a message and is, in a sense, educating the reader on the social aspects of diversity. It transcends time in the way that it both relates to and holds relevance to history and our current state on racism and cultural diversity. The author manages to do so by using descriptive words and creative comparisons. He sets up a picture in the readers mind, forming a relationship between the reader and narrator. The very aspect of being “The Invisible Man”, the man who is only seen as others want to see him or not seen at all, is relatable and is speaking to a universal human experience. It makes us question the way we judge or treat other people, and makes us more aware of our unjust society.

    • I totally agree with you that the author sets up a picture in the readers mind. This way, it brings up the readers’ empathy toward the narrator. Through the narrator’s perspective, we can clearly identify the social and cultural issues existing at that time. Moreover, the narrator’s emotion helps to understand his struggling and difficulty that it strengthens the presence of the issues that the narrator was facing.

  7. In my opinion, if the work, “Invisible Man” was seen as the standard literary work, I think that would mean that it appeals to a vast portion of readers not from only from relatability but also in a moral standpoint. Which brings me to an important virtue. I feel that someone could value this from the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. Someone assigning it could very well want to point that out from this. In the prologue the author’s text of, “When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves, or figments of their imagination — indeed, everything and anything except me.” I feel best describes the saying. As to say each person passing the author refrain from acknowledging him from his character, but as their own interpretation.

  8. If we had to consider The Invisible Man the standard for what a literary work should look like, then I would think the values behind this standard would include aspects like: intimacy between the characters and the reader, a focus on racism and isolation as these are major themes in the book, and the literary work would have to include lots of personal insight on the narrators life and perspective on the world around him. A teacher who would assign this type of work would probably want their students to feel some level of compassion, or at least have the ability to understand how the narrator feels by almost walking in his shoes, understanding how society appears through his eyes. ( since this is the style of writing we see in the beginning of the prologue). They may also assign this type of book with the intent of teaching about racism, segregation, isolationism or any other themes that reflect how the narrator expresses his emotions. He is an African American in a time period where he felt ignored, avoided and invisible, and he shares these feelings to make an overall point on racism, while also expressing his identity crisis.

  9. I think that if we were to take The Invisible Man as the standard for what a “literary” work should look like, that’s mean that every text we have assign reflect the lesson form their life event. Its seems like the author is concerned about life surrounding him. The author is worried about his race and life experience, that’s why he placed himself as an invisible man. He spent a lot of time and effort trying to find out his identity and finding ways to make himself visible to the society. In the text author mention that “I’m an invisible man and it placed me in a hole—or showed me the hole I was in, if you will—and I reluctantly accepted the fact”. The fact that he accepted his invisibility, when he is in a hole shows how hopeless he felt when he accepted his invisibility.

  10. I think that the Invisible Man is an important piece of literature because it demonstrates how unfairly people can be treated. Minorities such as the African American narrator faced many social and intellectual issues. Unfortunately, even in the present society African Americans and other minorities face issues of racism and inequality. An example in the Invisible Man of injustice towards African Americans is when he accidentally bumped into a man at night. The man he bumped into did nothing but call him insulting names even when he was beaten by the narrator. The narrator became so enraged at the man’s racist comments that he pulled a knife out and almost slit the man’s throat. When people read the Invisible Man, the lesson they should learn from this literary work is that it is very important not to make anyone or any person feel invisible.

  11. The Invisible Man is a classic that has been assigned in classrooms for a very long time. This was actually my second time in my academic career that it has been assigned in an English class. If this is the standard that a literary work should look like then it can mean a few things. First and foremost, it is a novel that was published in the 1950’s. This is important for two reasons: one, it was published before we were born and secondly, it is a written text. Often times, we don’t see many assigned readings that consist of modern-day pieces and traditionally that hasn’t changed.
    Another reason that The Invisible Man is popular with the teachers is that it not only reflects American culture and racism in a way that shows a mastery of literary techniques. I interpret this whole story to be a commentary of how black people are treated in America, but it isn’t straight up told as a black man being mistreated, but as an “invisible” man. In the opening paragraph of the prologue Ellison writes, “I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me.” People refusing to “see” him may be a comment on how people in America refuse to treat black people the same why as they would a white person. This would add the value of students recognizing the theme of societal issues that were being fought back then and how we are still fighting it now, and the students would get practice in seeing an expert using literary techniques.

  12. If we took “The Invisible Man” as a standard of how literature should look, it would reflect the intensity and the way to captivate the reader from the first moment. Many times we take the saying “The first impression is not the one that counts” as a fact. But for example, personally for me it is extremely important that a literary text captivates my attention from the first moment. “The Invisible Man” begins with a ‘icebreaker’ sentence: “I’m a invisible man”. That is not common in our daily life, so the fact that this text begins by removing the reader from their comfort zone, letting you know in between the lines that what you are about to read is not a normal text, it is not a normal story; that for me, definitely, has a great weight and I consider it of great value. Because I mean, who wouldn’t be interested to know what this “invisible man” has to say?

  13. If we were to take the Invisible Man as the standard of what a “literary” work should look like, I think that represents a strong connection between the narrator and the reader. In other words, the reader is fully touched by the narrator. The novel is narrated in the first-person view. It explores the issue of race in deeper ways, involving self-search and self-awareness, making readers more aware of the status and dilemma of black people in American society. Someone who assigns it seems to want the reader to understand how the narrator overcome his suffering in the real world. According to the text, my point is illustrated by “I’m invisible and live in a hole, I am dead. I am neither dead nor in a state of suspended animation. Call me Jack-the-Bear, for I am in a state of hibernation. My hole is warm and full of light. Yes, full of light.” After the narrator becomes a real “invisible man”, it is the end of his past life and the beginning of his new life. After learning about this distorted and dissimilated world, the narrator begins to turn to the advanced stage of growth and his own cognition. In his “invisible” life, the narrator learns to find his true self in this complex and colorful society that does not belong to him. Although his life was full of ups and downs, he did not give up. These guides, especially those on the opposite side, have brought numerous obstacles to the growth of the narrator. However, it is precisely this cold reality that promotes the rapid growth of the narrator from chaos to self-awareness.

  14. I believe The Invisible Man is the perfect text that describes the era of discrimination against people of color as well as against people of different background such as not being noble enough will make you a trash of society where else if family is rich and transcendent of some royal blood, you are instantly entitled to every privilege that only high superiors have access to. That also includes education and moral support of family from every aspect. In the text, “The Invisible Man” is one of those people who got segregated and treated as if he is not even a human being to begin with. It pains me to see the visions and beliefs of old people who made the society and community toxic and empowering more bias behaviors towards different people. It is not to say their discover is everything of negative. It is simply due to the fact that humans are not even considered human enough to survive in the same society. This text can be referencing to Civil War Periods at which era Americans were fighting for the freedom of slavery. Not only that, but also after Civil War event, it displays the flashback of all occurrences that are grudges of colored people where they are to be still treated unworthy of the public service. Moreover, people of color have been banned from accessing knowledge of the world and given Reefer to make them demotivated about reality they live in. What is worse is the fact that even one tried to gain access to the knowledge and education from all publicly available resources, they are blocked from getting permission to even read it. From this text, we can learn to treat every human being as well as organisms on equal footing to have a balanced and peaceful environment. I believe this text shows me why we should consider one person’s feeling regardless of their background and ethnicity and show empathy and sympathy. It has been very heartbreaking to read about the history of American culture and its evolution from one’s perspective which gave the painful experience. Even today, we have discrimination against colored people. Thankfully, law exists at least to prevent any catastrophic outcome and to give freedom of victim party. Another interesting that happens in the text is a conflict between family of discriminated. There is no peace between the family whatsoever as they are desiring for freedom of any chain that behold them to move forward to future they wish. Freedom, oh how easy it is to say yet very complex matter, is what everyone wishes to have.

  15. If we were to take Invisible Man as the standard of what a literary work should look like, it would use a first person perspective to express views towards society. Whether discriminatory or just social behavior, I believe a first person point of view creates a bigger impact than if it was told in the third person. In the prologue, the narrator describes his daily life as invisible man. He discusses how he is viewed, treated, and his reactions towards certain people. By making these interactions in the first person, it makes the reader feel more sympathy towards the protagonist while also having the chance to being put in his shoes as these events occur. “I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me” This quote is the embodiment of why he is viewed as an invisible man. In this case, people would ignore, be unaware to see him as well as other people, due to views or just disinterest. However, it also reveals a struggle that the narrator has to deal with being an African American which is shown through his violent encounter with a white man during one night. As a result, he struggles to find an identity to live with as others see only his surroundings, themselves, or figments of their imaginations whenever they approach him. This is why he is never given a name for the reader to refer to him as, because the views of others are reflected towards him as if he is “surrounded by mirrors of hard, distorting glass”. Through this experience, we should learn not to ignore others nor treat others with disrespect because of some negative view that we believe is reflected within a person. Every person shouldn’t be viewed as invisible and as a result should be ignored, but instead, should be treated like one of us, a human being.

  16. If the Invisible Man becomes the standard of what a “literary” work should look like, it would be solely on narrator’s point of view. Invisible Man has written as the first person point of view that it is all about narrator’s life, experience, personality and the way how he saw this world. If the Invisible Man becomes the consistency of American Literature, the reader would have a thorough understanding toward the background of the narrator. It seems the way how the author delivered his text is an important feature that brings the value to this work. It looks like he just shared his ordinary day, but actually, through his perspective in life, the message is educational and revealing the truth. In the prologue of Invisible Man, the narrator did not directly address the social and discrimination issues of African Americans; in fact, he wrote down his own personal daily life and his feelings to illustrates the situation he were trapping into. Because of his identity, whites refuse to see him as an actual. Thus, he describes himself as an invisible man. No matter how hard he tried to gain acknowledgement from others, such as by illegally draining their resources and the conflict with a blond man, it seems no one is giving him any attention. In addition to that, the narrator’s emotion becomes a huge part in this work. The reader can feel the struggling of the narrator which increases the presence of the issues.

  17. An important feature of The Invisible Man is the value of life. Sometimes it seems like everything is going wrong and your life has little worth. But if there’s a special object or memory that has significance and you can grasp at that string it no matter how thin it is, it can bring you up out of a slump. In the text, the invisible man’s spirits are lifted every time he hears the music of Louie Armstrong played on a phonograph. This man felt invisible because people ignored him as they passed him, but he wasn’t totally unfortunate because he was able to take advantage of being unnoticed. While he may have felt like death at times, he was able to still see the joy of life.

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