Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Haley Reading group: The Intuitionist, 105 - 140



[The Intuitionist (1999)]

We're still moving ahead with Colson Whitehead's The Intuitionist.

There's this moment in the story where Lila Mae is having some thoughts about how others perceive her.
She thinks, these white men see her as a threat but refuse to make her a threat, cunning, duplicitous. They see her as a mule, ferrying information back and forth, not clever or curious enough to explore the contents. Brute. Black (122)
The presentation of her thoughts there always stood out to me, as it gives voice to the ways people often underestimate the intellectual capabilities of a black person, in this case a black woman. In just a few sentences, Whitehead highlights that important idea.

Within what we've read between pages 105 - 140, what was a scene that really caught your attention or stood out in some way? Briefly explain why, and provide the page number citation.

9 comments:

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Thomas Siganga said...

"She had not seen the movie before and had seen the movie before. That's how Lila Mae perceived the movies. Sometimes they had different titles, but the actors were usually the same, and if they were not the same, they looked the same."(130) To me, this quote caught my attention as it explained really well how the movie was boring and not really memorable. To me, this quote also links to things I see around me every day. I think that it links to companies trying to emulate other successful companies making which ultimately ends in both being competitive but too similar. Target and Walmart for example selling similar things nowadays.

Anonymous said...

The scene that stood out most to me the most in this section was the one in which Lila has a chat with Mr. Reed in the parlor. This scene stood out to me the most because of how tense the situation really was in contrast with how mellow the two attempted to make the interaction. It was a classic Lila Mae moment, she had to repress her actual thoughts to maintain a false healthy relationship with some power figure. (124-127)

Jason A.

Anonymous said...

The scene about Fulton's childhood (134 - 136) stood out to me. It has always stood out to me and saddened me how, in more racially segregated times, it was hard to fit in as a mixed person. How Fulton's mom had to keep him hidden behind her back as they walked through town to avoid the stares of the white people. How Fulton's sister even made racial jokes toward him. How the black man in the store instinctively let Fulton in front of him, thinking he was white.

-Isaiah J.

Fontez McNeal said...

I liked the scene from pages 117-121. It kind of reminded me of my time as a mischievous child, sneaking out of my room and getting late-night snacks although I was supposed to be sleep. "With that first blush of courage she stepped into the hall and the floorboards creaked. So loud they'll be out spanking her any second" (Whitehead 118).

Phoenix Johnson said...

"He was a curious boy. He wanted to be a dentists, a pragmatic choice. Teacher, doctor, preacher, undertaker. What a colored boy can aspire to in a world like this" (129). This stood out to me because it made me think of being a successful black person in today's society . It is still hard due to discrimination in companies and society, but it is way betterthan what this boy would had to go through to become successful. It makes me think how society has improved and changed from diversity.

Anonymous said...

The scene that stood out to me was when Chancre said, "I'm all for colored progress, but gradual. You can't do everything overnight" (115). This quote reminded me of what racist people in the past said about segregation and equality. Saying gradual means that it can be postponed, when it should be immediate. This reminds me of one a quote from MLK when he said the word "wait" rings in the ear of every negro. Justin J.

Unknown said...

The scene I liked was the point when Chancre was talking to Lila Mae. "She sits back and makes a fist in her lap, under the table, where the smug old cracker can't see it" (115). This reminds me of slave agency to a minor degree. Slaves did multiple things behind the backs of over seers or masters to maintain resistance but to not receive obvious reprimands. At the same time, Lila Mae does speak her mind but doesn't let Chsncre see her gesture.
Andrew H.

Miles Wadlington said...

I always find it interesting how people make racist comments that they think are, in fact, not racist. Today, my friend, who is white, said something along the lines of, “Well the baby is black, so we know it’s gonna be big.” Meanwhile she is six feet tall and white, and I am a black man who is 5’6” and 150 pounds. I’m not big, nor is my sister, Dad, Grandma, or aunts. So I stand there stunned that she would say anything like that, and I get my bearings enough to acknowledge our vast differences in size. To which she responded, still thinking that this is funny, “Well, you must be the exception.” Hmmm... I know I’m going on a tangent now, but I still haven’t even explained why this was racist. In one sentence she highlighted at least two stereotypes of black people. One is the stereotype of the “big tough black man”: The ultra masculine, never-cry strong-as-hell say-it-to-my-face I-might-be-in-a-gang-but-I’m-a-real-n**** black man. This one alone is enough to make my blood boil, but then there is the second, which highlights the reality of many people who live below the poverty line. The obesity epidemic. When people don’t have much money and limited transportation, access to the, generally more expensive, healthy foods are very limited. Therefore, some people end up eating a diet of mostly fast food, chips, and drinks enriched with high fructose corn syrup. And as she herself is considered to be obese, I thought she’d be more sensitive to such a subject. Guess not...
*******This rant was inspired by the quote, “I’m all for colored progress, but gradual. You can’t do everything overnight.” (115)******