Begin your discussion post (and you must post before being able to see anyone else’s post) with short descriptions of some of the people Percival Everett chooses to involve with his protagonist, Thelonious “Monk” Ellison; they are—as detailed in the first chapter—Thelonious Monk, Ralph Ellison, Gustav Mahler, Aretha Franklin, Charlie Parker, Ry Cooder, Aeschylus, and Euripides. Write a brief summary about who each of these people are.
Next, analyze the second paragraph in the first chapter (the paragraph beneath the first ‘X X X’). Why do you think the protagonist Monk (who is also the narrator) feels the need to describe himself the way he does?
Next, compose a similar paragraph that describes yourself like Monk does. Try to mimic the pattern of the paragraph while changing its details to TRUTHFULLY describe yourself. Here’s mine, for example:
I have medium beige skin, dark brown hair, a crooked nose, some of my ancestors were indentured servants from England who eventually became farmers in Illinois, and I have been arrested by white and Hispanic policemen in California when I was eighteen for disorderly conduct. Though I am fairly athletic, I am no good at basketball. I listen to the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Duke Ellington, Django Reinhardt, and Claude Debussy. I graduated summa cum laude from Penn State University, loving every minute of it. I am terrible at math. I cannot dance. I did not grow up in any inner city or the rural south. My family owned a house near L.A. My grandfather was a construction worker. My father was a carpenter. My sister and I both have Master’s degrees in English.
Finally, define the term Nouveau Roman. (Monk mentions this term several times (as he is a member of the Noveau Roman Society.) In the amount of reading you’ve done so far, do you think Erasure is Nouveau Roman? Why or why not?
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