Introduction & Overview of What We Cannot Speak About We Must Pass Over in Silence

This Study Guide consists of approximately 36 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of What We Cannot Speak About We Must Pass Over in Silence.
This section contains 172 words
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What We Cannot Speak About We Must Pass Over in Silence Summary & Study Guide Description

What We Cannot Speak About We Must Pass Over in Silence Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Bibliography on What We Cannot Speak About We Must Pass Over in Silence by John Edgar Wideman.

“What We Cannot Speak About We Must Pass Over in Silence” by John Edgar Wideman was first published in the December 2003 issue of Harper's. It is also available in a collection of Wideman's stories, God's Gym (2005). This disturbing story features an anonymous black, middle-aged male narrator who becomes obsessed by the imprisoned son of a dead friend. He spends much time struggling with prison bureaucracy in order to track the man down to a prison in the Arizona desert. The story, which is told in a stream-of-consciousness style, reflects Wideman's concerns about the high levels of incarceration of African American men (as of 2006, Wideman's younger brother and son were serving life sentences). Themes include the dehumanizing nature of the prison system, the political and economic division between the races, and the social isolation and fear felt by many African Americans. Also emphasized are the broader human difficulties of gaining reliable knowledge and of forming connections with, and knowledge of, other people in a society characterized by disconnection, fragmentation, and mechanization.

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This section contains 172 words
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