Shadow and Act Chapter Abstracts for Teachers

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Chapter Abstracts

Part 1, The Seer and the Seen, Section 1

• This book is a collection of essays and book reviews written by Ralph Ellison.

• The writing was all done in the 1940s - 1960s.

• The two basic themes are: the relationship between art (music, literature) and life, and individual versus group identity.

• "That Same Pain, That Same Pleasure: An Interview" (1961) is a transcript of an interview with Ellison conducted by a man named Richard Stern.

• This essay introduces and defines the key theme of the relationship between the Negro, as both an individual and as part of a culture, and American society.

• The term Negro is used throughout the book as it was the "definitive" term used to describe the African American race at that time.

• Ellison makes a plea for both sides of the race/culture war to transcend preconceptions about themselves and each other,.

• At the end of this...

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