This reading is a bit more intense than I thought it would be. So the first couple of pages were a bit interesting. All right so it starts off with like this “royal rumble” thing I guess and the way Ellison words it is very descriptive. It was an embarrassing moment for the blacks; they were blindfolded and were told to fight until the last one is standing. All the while drunken white men were watching and getting hits in as many times as possible. It was some sort of entertainment to them. In the ring was a lady dancing around and she had no clothes on and she is described in a very vivid manner. I found this really capturing because of his choice of words (which he does in most of what I have read so far). He says certain parts of her body is like the “domes of the East Indian Temples” (22), I found this so effective how he uses such great words to describe little things. It gives the book more depth and it helped me also to pay attention more and visualize what was going on.
Another thing I really enjoyed about this book is the intensity of the character. For instance he is an African American male trying to “find” himself. What I find most interesting is that although he is not respected because of his race he moves past that and continues on with his life. When he was in that ring fighting for his life he still kept the words of the speech he would be saying, shortly after in his mind. In my opinion I think that is the only reason he continued fighting. He kept going even though it was really degrading what was being done to him and all the other African Americans. In the end his fighting paid off because he got a scholarship to a four-year college (and of course this was a big deal back in the day).
Amy you and I have very similar views, so I totally see where you are going with this “black unity” thing. I mean he and the other characters in this novel are getting together to form some kind of alliance. I believe this is so because they want to stand up against the world which they live in; the world that has neglected them. I do not remember what page it is on but I do remember when the main character (who is still nameless) is given a new name. This is a very important time in his life. I feel as though once he got this new name and joined this group, who were trying to help the neighbors who got evicted he started to feel like a real person with a purpose. Not having a name like we explained before is rough because it is as if he is not a real person. For example now that he is being recognized as somewhat of a leader he has the ability to stand up for what he believes is right. I doubt he would have done this if it was at the beginning of the novel only because he was still young and trying to find himself.
So Amy you talked about all the unity that this novel is portraying reminds me of some other books that I have read regarding African American unity. I feel as though the unity is their way of fighting against their enemies. Connecting to the real world, most protests do not work with only one person. There needs to be a group of people in order to follow through with what has to be done. Like in this novel after the African American couple is evicted it stirs up anger in the hearts of the other African people. Which is completely normal; it always takes one man to stand up for what is right and surely enough people will follow. And that is what happened in this case, the eviction was just another raciest problem that needed to be solved.
Back to his name issue, it stuck out to me how it was after during all this he is granted a name by Jack (a member of the Brotherhood) in chapter 14. This chapter stood out to me the most. I’m happy that he is granted a name and is finding a sense of belonging to the brothers in the Brotherhood. Answering your question about the whole unity thing, I do believe they should have unified in order to fight those who were against them. I do feel that they all defended the couple just because they were black. In my opinion I think it still goes on today for example any race is quick to aid another member of their same race when in trouble. It’s only normal to want to help your “kind”. It went on in the civil rights movement as well and even in today’s war on terror. If an American sees a soldier in combat the fellow American feels pain. Its human nature to feel for people with problems; especially if there is a connection to the other, no matter what it is.
Mary is another character that showed a great amount of importance. Mary took him in and treated him like family. This can also relate to the unity aspect of this novel. She saw him in need and quickly came to his rescue. Mary to me was like a close female figure to him; kind of like a mother to him she didn’t ask for money and fed him all the time. It is also ironic how they are both from the south which is like a connecting factor. Not only are they both black, they are from the south which is probably why she is so welcoming; somewhat like southern hospitality.