TIM asks “And why would the vets act that way with a white man in the house?” (98), what does this mean? Why is he asking this? How does this connect to what his grandfather said? How does this connect to Malcolm X’s speech?
Quote: “Here within this quiet greenness I possessed the only identity I had ever known, and I was losing it. In this brief moment of passage I became aware of the connection between these lawns and buildings and my hopes and dreams” (99).
How does this quote connect to invisibility? To the prologue?
Dr. Bledsoe tells TIM, “Haven’t you the sense God gave a dog? We takes these white folks where we want them to go, we show them what we want them to see. Don’t you know that? I thought you had some sense” (102)
What does this quote show about Dr. Bledsoe?
Does this perspective help or hinder the fight against racism?
Was the incident with Mr. Norton and Golden Day TIM’s fault? Was it bad for Mr. Norton to see/hear and experience what he saw?
Was taking Mr. Norton there a mistake? Why or why not?
Why do you think Mr. Norton keeps passing out?
What does Supercargo’s beating tell us about Golden Day/the people at Golden Day?
Quote: “I wanted to tell Mr. Norton that the man was crazy and yet I received a fearful satisfaction from hearing him talk as he had to a white man. With the girl it was different. A woman usually got away with things a man never could” (93).
What does this quote tell us about the narrator and his perspective?
Quote: (Burnside on the narrator, to Mr. Norton) “Already he’s learned to repress not only his emotions but his humanity. He’s invisible, a walking personification of the Negative, the most perfect achievement of your dreams, sir! The mechanical man!” (94).
What is Burnside talking about? Does the narrator or Mr. Norton get it?
How does this quote connect to the narrator’s grandfather’s last words?
What is his grandfather’s dying words (page 16) and what does he mean?
The narrator goes on to say that he was considered an “example of desirable conduct” but his grandfather says that is “treacher” (17) - what does that mean? What might it foreshadow about the rest of the novel?
What is significant about the fighting and feats for money?
Discuss the juxtaposition (two different things put side by side for contrast/comparison) of the white people watching the blacks fight (physical feat), but also praising the narrator for graduating (mark of intelligence) and making him give his speech?
The narrator gives a speech (pages 29-30) - what might be the significance of this speech? What might it foreshadow about the rest of the novel?
They white folks make him repeat the phrase “social responsibility” and at one point he says “social equality” instead, but goes back to “responsibility” - what is the significance of their demanding he repeat himself, what is the significance of his switching words, and what is the significance of the white audience’s response?
See Junot Diaz, author of This is How You Lose Her speak at the South End Branch of the Boston Public Library!
Day: Tuesday, January 10th Time: 6:30pm - 8:00pm Address: 685 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02118 Cost: Free!!!
How to get extra credit? Go to this event and write a minimum of one page about the experience, what you heard, what you thought, connections to what you read/what we discussed, etc. This page is due by 3:30pm on Friday, January 13th.