Invisible Man -Music

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Importance of Music By having a better understanding of the blues, it gives me a better understanding of the novel Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. Blues and Jazz originated in the southern plantations of the 19th century so its roots are deeply connected with the African American history. This correlates with the narrator’s struggle to find his individuality in an America society because when people thought of blues and jazz at the time, they thought of black. In the text, a drunken white man urged the narrator to sing something, when Brother Jack angrily said the narrator didn’t sing, the drunken man replied back “Nonsense, all colored people sing” (312). It clues us in on the stereotype of blacks at the time and makes us better understand the struggle for his own identity and purpose our narrator is so desperately trying to find. But it also leads to being overly careful and almost suppresses African American’s heritage. In the text, after the whole ideal was over, the narrator questions “Shouldn’t there be some way for us to be asked to sing? Shouldn’t the short man have the right to make a mistake without his motives being considered consciously or unconsciously malicious?” (314). By being asked to sing even if stereotypical is not doing any harm. By denying and hushing up the fact that black people sing the blues makes the narrator loose part of his culture and tradition as well. Furthermore the very structure of the blues also clues me in on the text. Jamey Aebersold’s “Slow Blues in F” is just an example of the slow form blues can take, it makes music notes feel extended. Parts of the text that felt extended to was his meeting with Dr. Bledsoe, contrasting from the usual pretty fast pace of the ongoing plot. The drawn out part Dr. Bledsoe expelling him amplifies the significance of the passage just like how the longer blues notes shapes and heightens the

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