06 Apr 2009 [ Prev | Next ]

Academic Article -- Hanlon

Hanlon, Christopher. "Eloquence and Invisible Man." College Literature 32:4 (2005) 74-98.

     Academic Search Elite. EBSCOHost. Reeves Library, Seton Hill University. 01 Apr. 2009.




When will you be posting the Academic Article?

I've posted it for you, Alyssa.

"Unlike, for instance, the Reverend Homer A. Barbee, whose earlier speech at the protagonist's college is a tightly rehearsed repetition of other similar speeches..., Wheatstraw's eloquence is an off-the-cuff, organic eloquence, an eloquence that foregrounds the possibilties of improvisation as opposed to strict recitation."

-Hanlon, 86

As I read this article about the speech utilized within Ellison's novel, I came to realize just how much the speaking styles of the characters relate to the jazz characteristics of the 1930s and the ensuing movements.


"But more so than either of these, Emerson thinks of eloquent composition as a process of musical collaboration that draws upon, channels, provides a conduit for energies already in circuit among 'the people.'"

"There is much irony in the narrator's statement that this speech for the Brotherhood has effected his transmogrification, has allowed him to become more "human," especially since though the protagonist's audience recognizes and values this moment of becoming, the Brotherhood itself largely does not" (Hanlon p. 4).

Emerson describes the point “where transcendentalist selfhood comes on at the price of selfhood itself ‘Standing on the bare ground…all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eyeball; I am nothing; I see all…’”

"Still other readers of Invisible Man have focused upon the novel's musicological qualities, the ways in which the narrative experimentation of the novel incorporates Ellison's early love of and expertise with music, pulling together an authorial voice that draws upon the techniques of several musical forms in order to re-invent the American novel."

"In the early chapters of the novel, however, it is Norton who shapes the fate of the protagonist."
~page 82


"'What a time to be born,' the protagonist thinks as he passes by, and it should be clear here that the birth with which Ellison is concerned is the protagonist's new birth as a public intellectual."


"...the most powerful obstacle to self-reliance is indeed our tendency to imagine ourselves beholden to our past statements and formulations, to imagine that we are simply what we once were, and that only." Eloquence and Invisible Man by Christopher Hanlon page 87.


The American writer Ellison
describes "play[s] artfully upon the audience's sense of experience and form";
his audience is that which "he is called to play as a pianist upon a piano,"
though "this second instrument can be most unstable in its tuning, and
downright ornery in its responses," a fact that Ellison regards as "a special,
most American problem" (496). Such collaborative interaction between
writer and audience, Ellison explains, comprises an act of "democratic faith"
entailing "an incalculable scale of possibilities for self-creation" (494). (Hanlon, Pg. 5)

"Emerson's model of spoken composition, proceeding from the recognition that every listener is also a potential speaker ("How many orators sit mute there below!" [1903-04, 7. 63]), also captures the most charged
moments of eloquence to appear in Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, a novel that measures the self-reliance of its nameless protagonist through his growing
acumen as a public speaker. Midway through the novel, Ellison's narrator stands before a massive audience after his initiation into the political organization
called the Brotherhood, observing that "The audience seemed to have become one, its breathing and articulation synchronized" much like the "social organism" or "battery" to which the Emersonian speaker both addresses and connects himself." 75


This was better than the last article i must agree...
I talked about the reference to Norton and Emerson and the reason that the Narrator was expelled


I've just stopped in to say I'm really flattered that your professor has invited me into your classroom by assigning my essay in Ellison. More than that, I'm REALLY impressed with the careful reading of Ellison happening in this class. _Invisible Man_ is such a great novel ... I hope you all keep reading it in Emersonian ways.

Several students chose to write on Invisible Man for their final paper, and I think part of that had to do with our reading of your essay.

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Dennis G. Jerz on Academic Article -- Hanlon: Several students chose to write on Invisible Man f
Christopher Hanlon on Academic Article -- Hanlon: I've just stopped in to say I'm really flattered t
Jessica Bitar on Academic Article -- Hanlon: http://blogs.setonhill.edu/JessicaBitar/2009/04/mu
Rebecca Marrie on Academic Article -- Hanlon: eloquence in invisible man http://blogs.setonhill
joshua wilks on Academic Article -- Hanlon: This was better than the last article i must agree
Julianne Banda on Academic Article -- Hanlon: Much better than the last article. http://blogs.s
Andrew Adams on Academic Article -- Hanlon: "Emerson's model of spoken composition, proceeding
Robert Zanni on Academic Article -- Hanlon: http://blogs.setonhill.edu/RobertZanni/2009/04/aca
Nikita McClellan on Academic Article -- Hanlon: http://blogs.setonhill.edu/NikitaMcClellan/2009/04
April Minerd on Academic Article -- Hanlon: "'What a time to be born,' the protagonist thinks
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