Invisible Man Journal Entry #1
To me, the most interesting part of this novel so far is the interaction with Jim Trueblood and the story that he tells. The different reactions that Jim gets from white people and black people is especially interesting because the whites, upon hearing about what Jim did with his daughter, describe the act as something disgusting but to be expected of or typical of black people and yet they offer Jim support while the black community shuns him. I find it hard to understand, however, why exactly Jim receives the treatment that he does from the white people. I think our analysis of Mr. Norton's fascination with Jim that we discussed in class is a reasonable explanation, that he might have had some kind of encounter with or felt sexually attracted to his own daughter, but obviously not all of the whites who offer Jim help could be in the same situation. It might be to suggest the impurity of the white people, that all of them have had some kind of unspeakable experience which makes them more interested and willing to listen to Jim. It is also possible that the white people want to keep Jim from being forced to move and keep him nearby a black school as a tool to make the black people feel ashamed and embarrassed to be associated racially with him, a way of keeping the students from thinking they are on their way to being equal. This is certainly the effect that Jim's story has on the Invisible Man, as he silently fumes and curses Jim under his breath, looking for an opportunity to leave. I also found Jim's story interesting because it made me kind of root for Jim in a way. It is possible that Jim may not be telling the whole truth, but he seems very honest about what happened and how he was out of control in a way, and I felt bad for him even though I knew in the back of my head he raped (or maybe raped isn't the right word) his daughter.
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