“A popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.” -James Madison
"They were careless people[...]- they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness [...], and let other people clean up the mess they had made.- Nick Carraway, The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald
By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.-Kafka
“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” ― James Baldwin
"You asked me to teach you chess and I've done that. It's a useful mental exercise. And through the years, many thinkers have been fascinated by it. But I don't enjoy playing. Because it was a game that was born during a brutal age, when life counted for little, and everyone believed that some people were worth more than others. Kings and pawns. [...]Chess is just a game. Real people aren't pieces, and you can't assign more value to some of them than to others. Not to me, not to anyone. People are not a thing that you can sacrifice. The lesson is that anyone who looks on the world as if it was a game of chess deserves to lose." - Harold Finch, Person of Interest
"This circle was a temple which had been devoured by ancient fires, profaned by the miasmal jungle, and whose god no longer received the homage of men." -"Circular Ruins" by Jorge Luis Borges
Choose your leaders with wisdom and forethought.
To be led by a coward is to be controlled by all that the coward fears.
To be led by a fool is to be led by the opportunists who control the fool.
To be led by a thief is to offer up your most precious treasures to be stolen.
To be led by a liar is to ask to be told lies.
To be led by a tyrant is to sell yourself and those you love into slavery.
-Octavia E. Butler, Parable of the Talents (Earthseed, #2)
“The point is, there is no feasible excuse for what are, for what we have made of ourselves. We have chosen to put profits before people, money before morality, dividends before decency, fanaticism before fairness, and our own trivial comforts before the unspeakable agonies of others”
― Iain M. Banks, Complicity
[Synthesis with "Nomenclatures of Invisibility" by Mahtem Shiferraw] This poem resonates with Brother Clifton’s last moments and what his actions near the end meant. There are two things to be considered when talking about what happened when the IM sees Brother Clifton for the last time. One side says that Brother Clifton, by trying to sell... Continue Reading →
[Synthesis with “Caged Bird” by Mary Angelou] I thought this poem was very representative of the IM’s internal dissonance in what he’s doing and in what he’s feeling. This something that we see throughout the book but in these hundred pages, we also see him assume another identity; one of a public speaker for the... Continue Reading →
[Synthesis with Rudyard Kipling's "If"] I thought that this poem really fit with what’s going on in the story. It is also kind of ironic to apply this poem to Invisible Man when Rudyard Kipling is someone who also wrote “The White Man’s Burden” but that’s a topic for another time. Here, the poem is... Continue Reading →
“For, like almost everyone else in our country, I started out with my share of optimism. I believed in hard work and progress and action, but now, after first being 'for' society and then 'against' it, I assign myself no rank or any limit, and such an attitude is very much against the trend of the times. But my world has become one of infinite possibilities. What a phrase - still it's a good phrase and a good view of life, and a man shouldn't accept any other; that much I've learned underground. Until some gang succeeds in putting the world in a strait jacket, its definition is possibility.”
― Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
Originally written for my AP Lit class IM stands for the main character, the titular Invisible Man Each part of this series will cover material on approximately every 100 pages of the book, although there will be some overlap. [Battle Royal scene] The blacks in this society are treated as little more than circus monkeys,... Continue Reading →