The Free-Lance Pallbearers Summary
Reed's first novel contains a myriad of stances and positions, all wrapped in a satiric, parodic narrative. Reed develops several themes in The FreeLance Pallbearers, including an examination of what Reginald Martin calls the "oppressive, stress-filled, Western/ European/Christian tradition." Other themes include a parody of the autobiographical style of earlier AfricanAmerican narratives and an examination of the different strata in the black community, especially different kinds of black leaders. Random targets of Reed's satire are the academic community, the debate over the nature and purpose of art, and the American political system.
Nothing, it seems, and no one is safe from Reed's satirical barbs. The black community's various attempts to find a leader to rally behind, for example, are spoofed by the inclusion of a capricious black nationalist character who teaches purity but secretly eats pork, and black ministers who, beneath the piety, run numbers rackets...
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The Free-Lance Pallbearers Short Guide
Ishmael Reed Biographies (6)
1,610 words, approx. 6 pages
A novelist, journalist, and playwright, American writer Ishmael Reed (born 1938) has been cited by critics as among the greatest contemporary African American literary figures of his generation.Accord...
2,266 words, approx. 8 pages
Ishmael Reed 's most important work has been his five novels, though he is also the author of two books of poetry, one nominated for a National Book Award. His experimental fiction has the stamp of po...
2,311 words, approx. 8 pages
Ishmael Reed was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the son of Bennie and Thelma Coleman Reed. At age four he moved with his mother to Buffalo, New York, where later he attended the University of Buffalo...
9,411 words, approx. 32 pages
"The most revolutionary black novelist who has appeared in print thus far," wrote Nick Aaron Ford as early as 1971, "is Ishmael Reed ." Nick Aaron Ford, one of the elder statesmen of Afro-American li...
4,863 words, approx. 17 pages
Ishmael Reed's importance to contemporary literary studies stems in part from his ability to channel his encyclopedic historical, political, and cultural knowledge into syncretic poetry and prose that...
8,389 words, approx. 28 pages
Ishmael Reed is one of America's leading proponents of multiculturalism. His commitment to the transformation of America into a truly multicultural society has informed his writing and has also been e...