Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Haley Reading group: The Intuitionist, 221 - 255

[The Intuitionist (1999)]

We've finished or just about finished Colson Whitehead's The Intuitionist. Many of the mysteries have been cleared up for us. Maybe?

Some of us have been noting what we viewed as powerful sentences from the novel. Here's one that caught my attention: They were all slaves to what they could see.' But there was a truth behind that they couldn't see" (239). Notably, a key character had been passing for white, which raises all kinds of ideas of people failing to see beyond the surface.

What was a sentence or two that stood out to you from our reading (221 - 255)? Why that sentence or those sentences? Be sure to cite the page number.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

On page 234, Lila Mae's dad says "It's not so different up there, Lila Mae. They have the same whiye people up there they got down here. It might look different. It might feel different. But it's the same." I felt that was representative of what many characters had to go through in the story, such as Fulton, who had to let people think he was white.

-Isaiah J.

Anonymous said...

The sentence that by far stuck out to me the most in this section was where Whitehead said, "Then she changes her mind and goes for Number Fourteen, Eleven's opposite in Bank B. Fourteen is also flanked by two elevators, and must share that distinct middle child anxiety." (Whitehead 224) This line stood out to me not only because the reference is on point, but also because this is something I would never have heard from any other author I've read from in all of my previous schooling. This line simply goes to shows the wit of Colson Whitehead.

Jason Alexander

Phoenix Johnson said...

"Catastrophic accidents are a-million-in-a-million occurrences, not so much what happens very seldom but what happens when you subtract what happens all the time" (230). This makes me think how people even myself takes our blessings for granted sometimes. If we take out making to our destination safe without problems, seeing our loved ones, and eating every day life would seem horrible. Theses one in a million chances we fo not think k about xan change our lives.

Justin J said...

A sentence that stood out to me was on page 240, when Lila says, "Their scared Empiricism has no meaning when it can be bought." This quote stood out to me because the experiences that lead them to be racist and prejudice are put to the side when money is in the mix. It goes on to explain how they base their experiences off of the skin color of the person instead of their character. This relates to the problems African Americans faced in the United States for hundreds of years.

Fontez McNeal said...

"The Uncle Tom, the grinning nigger, the house nigger who is to blame for her debased place in this world. Pompey gave them a blueprint for colored folk" (Whitehead 239). The vulgarity and diction used in the quote is what was memorable. If Lila Mae would use those words to describe another black person, it shows just how much of a distaste she has for him.

Thomas Siganga said...

"The elevator world will look like Heaven but not the Heaven you have reckoned"(Whitehead 241). This saying stuck with me as it reminded me of much of the society I see today. This quote shows the grim truth of the world as people in real life usually have a goal and eventually accomplish it but do not receive the exact feeling or thing that they originally wanted. This can be seen with people through jobs or multiple industries today.

Unknown said...

"To answer your question, yes, he was having a joke on them at first, but it wasn't a joke at the end. It became true" (Whitehead 236). I choose this quote because some people will often take certain actions or make ill humor about topics, and these things that are taken for granted or passed on for laughs of the individual end up coming back to hurt them in the end.
-Andrew H.

Unknown said...

My favorite quote from the final part of the reading was a small passage written on the topic of likelihood. Whitehead states, "Catastrophic accidents are a-million-in-a-million occurrences, not so much what happens very seldom but what happens when you subtract what happens all the time. They are, historically, good or bad omens, depending on the time and place, urging in reform, a quest for universal standards of elevator maintenance, or instructing the dull plodding citizens of modernity that there is a power beyond rationality. That the devil still walks the earth and architecture is no substitute for prayer, for cracked knees and desperate barter with the gods" (Whitehead 230-231). This quote stood out to me because it touched on the idea of the probability of anything. It has a sense of conveying the idea that everything happens for a reason that people cannot understand. This quote calls for the need for their to be a god to the universe for the sense of balance and purpose because not everything is in one's control.


- Courteney Wilson

Louis Stith said...

The quote that got to me was when it said" There is no hope for him as a colored man because the white world will not let a colored man rise, and there was no hope for him as a white man because it was a lie." This quote explains society today because as it goes if you are not white then you aren't good enough and never will be and if you don't want to put yourself in a category, you will automatically be put into one.
- Louis S.