Presentation on theme: "By Casie Ogden, Reuben Thomas, Millie Twine, Zach Hayes, and Matthew Perez."— Presentation transcript:
By Casie Ogden, Reuben Thomas, Millie Twine, Zach Hayes, and Matthew Perez
The narrator goes to Mr. Emerson's office. Along the way to get breakfast at a diner, he passes a man with a cartful of blueprints singing a song about a wild woman. The man, wearing Charlie Chaplin pants, asks him whether he has the "dog." The man explains that he picks up the blueprints from a company that ended up not needing them for city buildings. The narrator is against this kind of flexibility. "If you have a plan, you ought to stick to it!" he says. When the narrator leaves the Chaplin man, the man is singing about his love for a woman with different animal parts. The narrator is confused. How could the Chaplin man love someone so repulsive? Did everyone love someone? He goes into the diner and the man at the counter asks if he'd like the special. The special involves pork chops and grits, and the narrator is insulted that the man would just label him as a southerner. He defiantly orders orange juice, coffee, and toast instead. The narrator thinks of rumors he heard of the North and of Dr. Bledsoe. He now admires Dr. Bledsoe for being able to schmooze with the trustees. When the narrator leaves the diner, he sees the waiter serving pork chops and grits to a blond man. The narrator gets to Mr. Emerson's office, which is colorfully decorated with items from all over the world. There are birds in a cage. He hands the letter over to the man in front, whom he assumes to be the secretary. The male secretary takes the narrator into a room and converses with him. He asks him about his intentions for continuing education and for his plans after graduation. The narrator wants to become Dr. Bledsoe's assistant. Turns out the secretary is Mr. Emerson's son. He has read the letter and is enraged by Dr. Bledsoe and what he has done to the narrator. He tries to explain to the narrator that he should never return to school, and instead make something of himself up North. The narrator doubts the man's intentions and continues pleading to see the elder Emerson. The young Emerson tells the narrator that they are both victims of tyranny, and in order for him to help the narrator, he must disillusion him. Hearing this the narrator gets upset. As a last resort, the young Emerson hands the narrator the letter. The letter requests Mr. Emerson to continue giving the narrator hope of returning to the college – and it also assures Mr. Emerson that the narrator will never be welcome back at the school. The narrator is completely shocked and young Emerson makes repeated offers of help. He notes that his father would consider his actions extreme treason. Young Emerson recommends that he look for a job at Liberty Paints. The narrator gets onto a bus and hears a man whistling a familiar tune about a Robin who gets tied to a tree stump and then gets its unfortunate rump plucked of its feathers. The narrator laughs in a terrible way, and compares himself to the song's Robin. He hopes that the young Emerson was full of it, but he realizes that the letter is proof. He now wants to kill Bledsoe. The narrator calls Liberty Paints and gets himself a job to start the next day and he swears revenge on Bledsoe
Dream of Revenge=dreams I could hardly get to sleep for dreaming of revenge (Ellison 195). Plans to kill Bledsoe= violence When I stopped, gasping for breath, I decided that I would go back and kill Bledsoe. Yes, I thought, I owe it to the race and to myself (Ellison 194). Ambition is blinding, dont blind yourself to the truth= Vision
The narrator goes to Liberty Paints for a job under the pretense that he was sent by Mr. Emerson. He notices that Liberty Paints is patriotic in its slogans. After being interviewed by Mr. MacDuffy, he is sent to go work for Mr. Kimbro, a harsh man. Kimbro, leads him to a long room filled with buckets of paint. He opens buckets filled with a foul, milky brown substance and drips ten drops of another black chemical into them; then he stirs the buckets vigorously until the paint becomes glossy white; last, he applies the paint to small, rectangular wooden boards and waits for them to dry. If the boards are white, then the job was done correctly. The narrator starts working and wonders how white the paint is and what all it is used for. Kimbro comes back and is impressed by the narrators work. He tells the narrator that when the dope is done, to go refill it from the tank room, but he doesnt tell him which tank to take it from. The narrator then has to choose between two similar looking tanks based on smell and color. He refills the dope and then continues working. After doing another 75 buckets, he notices that the samples are not glossy, dry white, but rather gray and wet. Kimbro comes back and notices and becomes extremely angry, showing the narrator the right tank and then fills the buckets with the correct dope. The narrator continued working and Kimbro comes back later and is again impressed with his work. However, the narrator notices that the paint still has a gray tinge to it. Kimbro later sends him back to MacDuffy, who sends him to the basement of Building 2, to work for Lucius Brockway. Brockway is an old black guy in the basement who is quick to dislike him. Brockway declares that he doesn't need an assistant, but figures the narrator can clean the glass and read the many gauges. There are various things going on in the basement, but Brockway says that they make the paints down there. The narrator is annoyed with all of Brockway's personal questions. Brockway is paranoid that people are after his job. The narrator is surprised that Brockway could hold so much authority without having received any engineering training. Brockway is proud of how much he knows and how Liberty Paints could not function without his know-how of the basement and its workings. Apparently, every single paint manufactured by the company must go through his process of applying pressure to the oils and resins. He's been there from the beginning of the company and attempts to replace him with highly educated engineers have always failed. Brockway especially takes pride in the Optic White paint, and says he came up with the slogan for it: If Its Optic White, Its the Right White. The narrator recognizes this from the saying, If youre white, youre right, and Brockway admits thats where he got it from. Brockway then tells the narrator to get his lunch from the locker room, and when he walks in, he realizes that he has walked in on an union meeting. When the narrator tells them hes working for Brockway, they go crazy, calling him fink (informer), and believe he will go tell Brockway about the union meeting. After much debate, the union brothers agree to observe the narrator work, and if hes not a fink then they will teach him about the union. The union let him go, and he returns to Brockway. When Brockway learns about the union meeting, he becomes furious and threatens to kill the narrator if he doesnt leave the plant. The narrator denies belonging to the union. Brockway and the narrator begin fighting each other until Brockway loses his dentures while biting the narrator. The narrator believes that Brockway actually stabbed him and becomes ashamed when he sees Brockway with no teeth. The narrator apologizes for trying to fight him and explains how he is not associated with the union. Then, a hissing noise is heard from the boilers, and the narrator turns a valve that Brockway tells him to, but it only makes the situation worse. Brockway leaves quickly, and the narrator attempts to continue turning valves, but to no avail. A boiler explodes and loses consciousness under a pile of machinery and stinking goo.
The main symbolism in this chapter is the Optic White paint from Liberty Paints. The white paint is made brilliant white by adding ten drops of a black chemical. It is a symbol of racial inequality at the time. Just as the white paint needed the black drops to be even brighter, society run by white people need the contributions of black people, but those contributions are later ignored, like the black chemical is covered up by the whiteness of the paint. This symbol also extends to the name of the company and its slogan: Keep America Pure with Liberty Paints. The company claims how pure the paint is in its slogan, completely ignoring the impact of the black chemicals used. But when I looked into the white graduate I hesitated; the liquid inside was dead black (Ellison 200). White! Its the purest white that can be found. Nobody makes a paint any whiter (Ellison 202).
This chapter begins with the narrator waking up in a hospital with little to no memory of where he came from, who he is, or why he is there. As the doctors proceed with his electrical shock treatments, comments are made that may suggest what his past was like, also, a sly comment was made about blacks having rhythm while the narrators body twitched as he was being shocked. When the narrator is asked about his name, he can not gather up enough information to sum up his identity. Once released from the factory hospital, he is instructed to find an easier job. The narrator leaves the hospital feeling as though an alien personality has taken hold of him. While roaming around in the city, he realizes that he has overcome his fear of important men like the trustees and Bledsoe. He wanders into the subway and sees a platinum blonde woman biting a red apple as the train heads for Harlem.
The narrators memory loss, marks a key transition in Invisible Man, as the narrator experiences a figurative rebirth. This rebirth scene marks the transformation of the narrators character as he moves into a different phase of his life. Having lost his job at the planthis last remaining connection to the collegehe can now redraw his identity. Ellison fills this chapter with imagery equating the narrator with a newborn babyhe wakes with no memory, an inability to understand speech, and without an identity. A tremor shook me; it was as though he had suddenly given a name to, had organized the vagueness that drifted through my head, and I was overcome with swift shame. I realized that I no longer knew my own name. I shut my eyes and shook my head with sorrow (Ellison 239).
The background music and noise made by the machines combine to sound like a woman moaning in pain, evoking the cries of a woman in labor. This rebirth, however, does not involve a mother or a father. The conspicuous lack of mother or father recalls the veterans advice that the narrator should be his own father in order to create his own identity rather than accept an identity given to him. They were holding me firm and it was fiery and above it all I kept hearing the opening motif of Beethoven's Fifth -- three short and one long buzz, repeated again and again in varying volume, and I was struggling and breaking through, rising up, to find myself lying on my back with two pink-faced men laughing down (Ellison 232).
The narrator, still feeling disconnected from himself, exits the subway only to have his legs slip out from under him. As he is helped by the people around him, he meets Mary and Ralston, who help him walk to Marys apartment. The narrator sleeps through the day, waking up the next night, and begins to talk to Mary, when he tells her that he used to want to be an educator. Mary says that she hopes whatever he does is for the benefit of black people, and then offers for him to rent a room whenever he would like. The narrator goes back to the Mens House and realizes that he should move out when he sees the other mean mugging him. As he goes to the elevator, the narrator sees a man that he mistakes for Dr. Bledsoe and proceeds to pour a spittoon on the mans head. As it turns out, the man isnt actually Bledsoe but rather a respected Baptist preacher. The narrator dashes off before he can be caught and then bribes a porter to go get his things, later learning that he has been banned from the Mens House for ninety nine years and a day. Off to Marys apartment. Mary nurses the narrator, and encourages him to take some leadership in the black community. The narrator stay there for months and builds up a desire to perform on the ideas Mary has been pestering him about. He builds up a lot of anger towards Bledsoe and Emerson, but still contains himself. The chapter ends as winter falls over the city.
One example of symbolism is in the white overalls the narrator wears after he leaves the hospital which represent a sort of rebirth he has experienced since before his accident. Though he is still given hostile looks for wearing them, also symbolizing how he is still going through hard times. …in losing my place in Bledsoes world I had betrayed them... I saw it as they looked at my overalls(Ellison 257). Another major symbol in this chapter is the narrators spot of black anger that glowed and threw off a hot red light of such intensity that had Lord Kelvin known of its existence(Ellison 259). All his life, the narrator has been bottling up this anger he feels, and recently he has starting acting upon this anger, such as the whole situation with throwing the spittoon on a preacher just because he looked like Bledsoe.
Extremely frustrated with the thought of Bledsoe, the narrator leaves Marys house angrily into the cold Harlem streets. He then stumbles across a street vendor selling baked yams. The scent of the yams remind the narrator of his childhood, so he decides to buy one. While eating the yam he is overwhelmed with feelings of homesickness. He realizes that he shouldnt be ashamed of himself for being black. He then proceeds to buy two more yams, proudly exclaiming I yam what I am! (Ellison, 266). He walks off and later notices a crowd gathering around a crying woman getting evicted from her apartment. Seeing all of the belongings on the street reminds the narrator of the struggles black have had over time. The narrator stands up in front of the crowd and begins to calm them down. Black men! Brothers! Black Brothers! Thats not the way. Were law-abiding. Were a law-abiding people and a slow-to-anger people (Ellison, 275). The crowd then rushes the men moving her belongings out and attack them. They then begin to bring the belongings back into the apartment. A police officer arrives at the scene and claims that a riot is occurring. The narrator decides to escape the crowd, assisted by a white woman who tells him to go to the roof. He notices someone following him, believing it to be a cop. His pursuer catches up to the narrator and invites him to get a cup of coffee. The man tells the narrator that his speech was very effective, and that he enjoyed it. He offers the narrator a job to give speeches. The narrator is unsure, so the man gives the narrator his contact information and leaves.
Yams represent the narrators Southern traditions and culture. The narrator realizes that he shouldnt be ashamed of who he is after eating the yams. I yam what I am! (Ellison, 266). The eviction scene as a whole is symbolism for the power struggle for freedom and equality that African Americans undergo. Witnessing the eviction changes how the narrator sees Harlem. He used to see Harlem as a dream city of opportunity, but afterwards he sees Harlem as an impoverished black neighborhood. The narrators speech represents the whole idea of the civil rights movement, in which the narrator attempts to calm the crowd down and protest peacefully. Black men! Brothers! Black Brothers! Thats not the way. Were law-abiding. Were a law-abiding people and a slow-to-anger people (Ellison, 275).