Freedom and Imprisonment in American Literature
Students in English 10-714 are submitting reading responses each week via Twitter. As the course instructor, I was very impressed with the first batch of tweets, in response to Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man. Students made sharp observations and raised critical questions about gender, genre, and instances of Ellison’s specific language use.
One student identified key concepts that Ellison establishes in his novel: “There is a big emphasis on the difference between civilization and culture in the beginning parts of the novel.” Another student noted a distinct lack of diversity in gender perspectives represented in the novel. “Would “Invisible Man” pass the Bechdel test if it were a contemporary movie?” Yet another student touched on the issue of genre by addressing the surrealist aspects of the text. “Does the text’s surrealism underline the absurdity of racism, or does it dilute the impact by removing weight from the story?”
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