Friday, September 24, 2010

Jumbo Mumbo

With all the different 'orders' and 'organizations' and 'groups', it seems Ishmael Reed wants to make an additional critique on the disunity of a single cultural voice and the consequences as a result, I think with specific regards to all of the black traditions we see emerge in the novel.

I haven't finished it yet, but the middle section - as we said in class - is riddled with plot event after plot event. These events, though, primarily consist of the Wallflower Order or the Knights of Templar (both of which personified in Hinckle Von Vampton) furthering their cause by killing leaders of, or totally usurping, different Afro-centric groups. We see this with Hamid's death and with the downfall of the Mu'tafikah clan. I find the latter to be particularly interesting as the success of their operation is contingent upon the cooperation of a rich white man who eventually functions as the group's origin of demise.

What I think Reed hopes to convey, at this point at least, is how when the white factions are compared to the many black schools of thought, we see one that is more so focused and united in their pursuit and one that is not so much. I feel Reed wants to perhaps show his reader, especially the African American reader, how when there becomes too many differing 'orders', 'organizations', 'groups', the common goal each share (black empowerment) becomes overshadowed almost completely and leads to more porous group structures, therefore making them all the more vulnerable to the white opponents.

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