How We Truly Felt

"For my critical specialization, I discuss methods of narrativity within novels of African American literature, specifically Wright’s Native Son, Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, and Nella Larsen’s Quicksand. I am ultimately curious about the extent to which a reader’s mind and imagination can move in lockstep with those of the characters in the novel. I have been interested in how authors represent consciousness in a way that allows readers to understand their thought process, their decision-making, and ultimately, their course of action. How do the identities a character takes on in a novel influence the reader’s ability to relate empathize, and even see themselves in the novel? After all, this process can be complicated by the background and lived experience that the reader brings in as they immerse themselves in the novel, especially when they diverge from those of the characters. What universalities can an author emphasize to tap into the sensibilities of their audience, regardless of their background? I intend to synthesize my findings on each novel’s narrativity to arrive at conclusions regarding each author’s intended audience."

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