Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A.P. Literature Is Both Invisible and Manly: November 19, 2014

Focus: If it's Optic White, is it the Right White?

1. Warming up with the grand overview of your final hurrah here in A.P. Literature: The Poetry Project vs. the Poetry Essay

2. Enjoying an illuminating conversation about Invisible Man, Chapters 7-14

3. Wrapping up

1. Look over your five poems, and select ONE that you think would work well for your project or poem.  Bring that poem to class tomorrow for a metacognitive writing.  This writing will count as a Tuesday writing.

2. Bring a laptop to class tomorrow if you have one.

3. Read Chapters 14, 15, and 16 for Friday (broken into two nights, it's about 27 pages a night).  We will read Chapter 17 together in class on Friday. For your reading ticket, find one passage that is no more than half a page in length and perform a metacognitive writing on it.


  1. Chapter 10
    Page 218- “If it’s Optic White, it’s the right white… If you’re white, you’re right.” Sarcastic quality from grandfather, act as though white is right, even if it’s not. Buckets were gross and brown at first but turned white with black drops (symbolic). Without the black, the white isn’t white; without blacks, the whites have no one to be superior to. Optic- of or relating to vision of the eye. Appears to be perfect, but on the inside it’s not so great. The brilliance of the white is blinding, covers up the inequality. “Keep America pure with Liberty Paints,” even paint company seems racist, all the government buildings are painted exactly the same (white). Large concern at the time about avoiding mixing the races.
    page 204- Concentrated remover looks and smells the same as additive. Educated black people are the same, but they are treated very differently.
    page 222- Anger and confusion towards the union meeting. Similar to his feelings towards Grandfather’s curse. A fink is a snitch. Refer to each other as “brother,” propaganda, communist meeting. The communist movement was growing at the same time as the civil rights unit. Union thinks they’re better than corporation, but they’re really the same.
    page 230- sense of losing important victory. What did he lose? Lost his job, a symbol of his freedom.
    Brockway- Similar to Dr. Bledsoe. Both black. Both have belief they’re in power, but they don’t in reality. Their fight was the reason of the explosion, pressure built and they didn’t pay attention.

  2. Chapter 11
    What was happening and why? He’s in a glass case, like a coffin. Doctor wants to test shock therapy and nobody was miss the narrator if he died. Experimented on because he’s black. Didn’t seem malicious, wanted to help society. Will make him more docile.
    Did it work? Did it help him? Doesn’t feel angry anymore. Needs to stop allowing others to think for him. Makes it hard to tell what’s really the narrator and what was changed by the experiments.
    Buckeye and Briar Rabbits? Always get into trouble. Rabbits are also used to test products. Trying to see if his brain is still working. Briar Rabbit who succeeds by wit and bends social norms. Relates to southern black culture.
    page 239- repeatedly asking what his name is and who he is. Identity is most important thing, and that was taken from him. Not necessarily bad, because his identity was forced upon him, now he can truly be himself… But can he if he has nothing else left? Rebirth or complete loss? He didn’t really understand himself before, now he understands his place. page 243 “When I discover who I am, I’ll be free.” Loss of innocence. Start of realization of invisibility as a black person.
    page 244- symbol of cutting umbilical cord, reference to rebirth. Many different references. Is he gaining anything or continually losing?
    Fairly common to experiment on black people without their permission or knowledge at the time.

  3. Chapter 12
    book was published in 1952. Narrator has painted a picture for himself similar to Malcom X and Martin Luther King Jr…. before their time.

    Chapter 13
    narrator’s speech- says he wants to maintain order, but changes his mind by the end. Page 277- possessions thrown into the street, dispossessed from the start, they just didn’t know it until now. Page 278 “I look like you and you look like me.” Says it’s happening to everyone. Still need to fight the right way. Violence gives into the white idea of the brute.
    Death on the City Pavements- newspaper article. What died? Possibly the idea of the peaceful protest. Pavement is where they would march, that’s where the idea of the brute would die. Chronicle from slavery to time of the book. This death is end of this generation, things need to change.
    Raz has been mentioned. He is West Indian, and there is reference to those accents. Maybe he is there?