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Ricardo Luengas

Ap. English Miss. Pashe


Luengas, 1

The truth, behind the words we write.
Believing that each story needs to have that personal touch is no crime, a story needs to
express to the reader, a story needs to have a meaning, (thats what Thomas Hardy is trying to
say through the quote: A story must be exceptional enough to justify its telling; it must have
something more unusual to relate than the ordinary experience of every average man and
women)
A story must be told by the heart and have a meaning behind it, otherwise it is no story. A
story comes from the background of a person or the back of the brain. We want to impress, to
entertain, and to educate our audience. When we tell stories; we think about what's similar about
every story that we have told? Each one is unique in a certain way. In other words, when we tell
a story, it has to be unusual, special, unique and different. You want the reader to be impressed;
you want the reader to understand your point of view to analyze the story and to think
differently about life. A writer doesnt want their audience to think: yeah, I don't care. For
example why did J.K. Rowling pick Harry to be the narrator of her book? Why didnt she choose
Hermione or Ginny, why not Ron? Why didn't she pick Hagrid or Malfoy? It's because the story
would be most unique if Harry told it. Who's the one with a scar on his forehead? Who's the one
that deals with Voldemort or his supporters every year? Harry Potter.
Reading A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer I came to understand that everyone had
something that needs to be told. For example; Pelzer, as a child, goes through many abusive
experiences from his mother. A quote that strongly reflects that is: I lean back against the seat.
A reflection from the sun hits my eyes. I turn away from the rays as a single tear runs down my
cheek. Im free? (Pelzer, 14) Dave felt like a slave in my opinion he didnt know what to do,
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he was free but he didnt feel like he was. All his life he dreamt of waking up from that place of
hell and that day came; the thing is he never felt it. Pelzer wanted the reader to be impressed,
he didnt want no one to feel sorry for him, all he wanted was to tell the story he went thru for so
many years, he wanted for the reader to feel something. He wanted the story to have a meaning.
He didnt just want to tell a story about his childhood, he wanted to expand it. Pelzer, as a child,
goes through many abusive experiences from his mother. His psychoanalytic (childhood trauma)
past made him a bestselling author but no only that but the meaning. Which brings me back to
the quote of Thomas Hardy, all he is saying is that if there is a story there is something more
behind it, a meaning. When I fell asleep, my soul became consumed in a black void (Pelzer,
132) this quote represents not only the hatred but how he no longer felt alive how he only felt as
a it he began thinking his mother was right, but as I read that sentence I yelled GET YOUR
**** TOGETHER (I cried a little, yes) And I yelled and screamed because I knew what Dave
was trying to come across, I knew the meaning behind that quote. I knew that the reason he cried
was not because his mother would beat him but because he didnt have support from no one of
his family members, not even his dad.
While reading Invisible Man I said to myself he is not literally invisible he is rather the
result of the refusal of others to see him. He says that because of his invisibility, he has been
hiding from the world, living underground and stealing electricity from the Monopolated Light &
Power Company. And my problem was that I always tried to go in everyones way but my own.
I have also been called one thing and then another while no one really wished to hear what I
called myself. So after years of trying to adopt the opinions of others I finally rebelled. I am an
invisible man. (Ellison pg. 573) In this quote, Ellison states the main source of his difficulties
throughout his novel. He has not been himself and has not lived his own life but has been limited
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by the social expectations and prejudices of others and without trusting or developing his own
identity. However, he has realized that his own identity, both in its flexibility and authenticity, is
the key to freedom. Ellison only wants to be free and to find whom he is thats why I choose this
quote because he is having that meaning Ive been talking about, he is trying to relate to the
experience of every average man and women. He is trying to tell his story of discrimination, that
he and his people went thru. I am only ashamed of myself for having at once time been
ashamed (Ellison, pg. 15) He has been ashamed of what his ancestors once were, but I believe
the reason he is ashamed is that his ancestors didnt have the courage that he has to this day. He
is ashamed that they couldnt stand up for themselves; instead they were invisible, invisible
African Americans working in the sun. When his grandfather died he stated that he was a traitor,
why would he be a traitor, was it because he didnt stick up for everyone? Did he felt that he was
the only one who could save his fellow friends? Maybe thats why he said that there life was at
war, war with society, war with the people that have discriminated colored people, immigrants,
anyone that wasnt American color. Thats his meaning thats whats behind this magnificent
American novel, the cruelty of people. Ellison didnt want no one to kill his vibe and by that I
mean that he wanted to speak the truth of his story he wanted to have his story to have that
meaning. Im not blaming anyone for this state of affairs, mind you; nor merely crying mea
culpa (Ellison pg. 575) According to Ralph Ellison in Invisible Man, to be invisible means to be
construed by others as a collection of general stereotypes rather than an actual, individual person.
He wasnt blaming anyone for what he had become, the sickness, the sickness of being invisible,
not being to be that person that you are but society puts you at, Ellison wasnt a successful
African American , he was just a normal black. When a random white man on the street insults
him, the narrator lives out the white man's stereotype of him as a vicious street mugger and
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renders it possible for the man to be "almost killed by a phantom" (Ellison. Pg.5). the narrator as
an individual experiences discomfort and disgust with the mugging, but it is not his genuine
individual self that has performed such an action, but rather a persona that the stranger has
construed the narrator to be. He felt guilty but he felt as if he had the responsibility to that, why?
why not, after all he didnt do anything it was him who had bumped into him, he was just merely
protecting himself, why cant a black guy defend himself from a white guy, why does it have to
always be the other way around. A story must be told by the heart and have a meaning behind it.
Thats what Ellison was trying to tell us throughout his novel, he felt that it was necessary to
express his hatred of society. Carpe diem! That was his motto in my opinion he wanted to cease
the day he wanted to tell what was right and what society thought was wrong. (You could say
that Ellisons middle name is non-conformist.) Now why did Ellison choose Dr. Bledsoe to be a
character in his story well because he too, had learned to use his invisibility as a means of firmly
establishing his status and influence within white society? Now do you see the meaning?
Now after reading Invisible Man and A child called it, I came to the question why must a
story have a meaning? It's pretty straight forward. In order for an experience to become a story it
has to be amazing enough. If you're going to tell a story, the story must be so good that after the
story has been told, the listeners must not feel that they have wasted their time hearing the
storyteller. You don't just tell stories just to blabber around and to make people hear your voice;
you do it to amaze them, to create emotions.
Overall the quote: a story must be exceptional enough to justify its telling; it must have
something more unusual to relate than the ordinary experience of every average man and women
is trying to say that without meaning there is no story.
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Ap. English Miss. Pashe
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Works Cited Page.
Pelzer, David J. A Child called "it": One Child's Courage to Survive. Deerfield Beach, FL: Health
Communications, 1995. Print.
Ellison, Ralph. Invisible Man. New York: Vintage International, 1995. Print.