Ellison Interview Response

Ellison looks very relaxed, sometimes uninterested, and likes to ramble. He does not show much enthusiasm toward many subjects and is not someone who would stand out in a crowd. Instead, he seems like he would be someone who would blend in with the background and not be noticed by many people, similar to an invisible man. This is interesting, because his manners and speech seem to replicate that of the narrator in Invisible Man and the two have much in common. Also, his lack of self-confidence was kind of shocking. Maybe because it is a big commitment writing a book and publishing it to an audience knowing anyone can read it. On top of that, he was an African American which could make him less confident at the time, but he went ahead and wrote a book that took seven years. I would assume if his confidence was that bad he would have second guessed himself many times in the process of writing, but he finished his goal. Earlier, however he talks about the power of the writers, which contradicts his “self confidence.”

His opinion on teaching was quite interesting, because of how he felt better connected with the younger generation, especially since the younger generation is where change will happen, if there is to be any. This is how “I keep in touch with their latest slang, I am able to discover how they regard their values, their styles…” (7:02 to 7:18). I think this is important, since the younger generation is what is supposed to led us into the future, teachers should be well informed about this lesson and its importance. Also, his response to how he felt being interviewed caught my attention, because he said it fascinated him, not because of excitement but because he knew people would be “interpreting my face, my statements in terms of my racial identity rather than in terms of the quality of what I have to say” (3:46 to 3:55).

Overall the interview we read in class and the one I watched online, gives me a better understanding of the writer behind Invisible Man. Every time I see Ellison I see the Invisible Man. I think Ellison wrote about his own opinion on the race matter in terms of the narrator which I think Ellison may be the narrator. I also like the fact that Ellison wrote about a sensitive matter which he thought was too important to dismiss.


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