Invisible Man Essay, Research Paper
In Portrait of an Invisible Man , Paul Auster uses his experiences with his own father in a way that, it would be easy for the average person to relate to. He uses events that are common events that have happened to most people. He uses events that not only effected him in a certain way, but also would effect most people. The essay is filled with his recollections of his father, and what he finds out about him when his is forced to clean out his house. Paul finds many pictures that let him have a better look into his father s life. He also comes across newspaper articles, which tell him a dark story from his father s past. The way that Paul Auster writes these experiences down, allows the reader to relate them to their own experiences. This, in turn, makes the essay more enjoyable, and more effective.
In Auster s story, he talks often about how his father treated him, and how he showed his emotions towards him. He tells how his father never really told him that he loved him, or showed many emotions to him. He was merely there to provide for him, and to be a role model of a hard working man. Auster once says, You never stop hungering for your father s love, even after you are grown up. (61). Paul knew that his father loved him, even though he did not hear his father say it often, if ever. Throughout his whole life he hungered for his father to demonstrate this to him, up until the time of his death, and even after. His father never showed him this emotion, even though Paul
knew he felt that way, he still hungered for him to say it, and still does.
When I read that sentence, my mind went immediately went to my father, and what I had observed of him at my grandfather s funeral. In all my experiences with my father and my grandfather, I can not remember a time where I saw either of them show emotion between them. When they were together they acted as businessmen; they talked about business or politics. They would talk about sports or the stock market. I can not remember a time when I heard either of them say they loved the other. I always knew they did, but I never heard it. I never thought about it until the funeral. For the first time I saw my father showing his emotions towards his father. I did not see my father cry often, but at the burial he did and I knew it was because he knew that he would never again be able to hear his father say, I love you, again. I know he cried because he still hungered for his father s love. I have a similar relationship with my father, we do not say, or show emotion to each other often, but it is an unspoken truth. I know that a lot of other people have had similar experiences, and that they probably thought of their experience throughout this passage also.
By writing this essay, about his father, in a way that people could relate to, Paul Auster made the reading more enjoyable. By making the reading more enjoyable to the reader, it made the essay more effective. When I read something that I can relate my own experiences to, it makes the story more believable, to me, and I recall the information much easier. The essay becomes a part of my life. When I relate the information from the book, to my life, it sometimes helps me look at situations, and people from different points of view. It helps me to understand things better. By Auster writing in that style, he not only made people think about their own lives more, but created an image for his
father. When looking at a situation that I might have made a relation to, I will not only think of what is happening in my life, but also I will think of Sam Auster inadvertently. By using this style of writing Paul Auster created an image for his father, which would not allow him to become an invisible man, which was Paul s purpose for writing this essay.
Another of Auster s experiences had to do with when his father came to his baseball game, and how he wanted badly to impress him. He said, If I was ever going to do something remarkable, this was the moment to do it. (64). Instead of impressing his father with a remarkable game he bombed. He did not have the remarkable game he wanted, but he might have still impressed his father, with his sportsmanship or something else unrelated. His father did come up to him after the game and said, Well you did your best. . . you can t always do well everytime. . This might have been a token saying, but I think that he was sincere when he said this, and this was the only way that he could express his feelings. I know I related this to when my grandparents came to my hockey games. I always played better when I knew that they were in the audience. I always feel it important to impress them, even if it is not necessary. Till this day I have not played a game, with them there, where I have not scored less than two goals. When I read this portion of the essay, I could not help to take a break and think my own experiences.
Not every one who reads this story will have a sports story to relate to, but they will have other experiences that they will think of. They might have had a good dance recital, marching band story, or merely think about doing well in school for a parent. No matter what they think of, the story was effective. If the reader made any connection at all
to what Auster was saying, the passage was a success. As long as the reader could remember a time where they wanted to impress a parent, Auster s words will have taken them back to this experience. The reader will have to take a time out from the reading, and think of how their experience effected them, and how it might have effected Paul Auster. When they return to the reading they will have a deeper understanding of what Auster was trying to say. They will have a deeper look into how Auster was feeling, instead of Paul just telling them how they felt. Not only will they have a deeper meaning of the way Paul felt, but also of the way they feel about their experience, and they way they feel about their own loved one. This not only got Paul s point across, but also gave the readers a deeper perspective of their own life.
Paul Auster set out to write an essay that would stop his father from becoming invisible after his death. Though his father died, he did not want his legacy to die also. He did not want him to become merely a statistic. The essay was comprised of many personal experiences with his father, and facts that he found out about after his father s death. He writes them down in such a way that allows the reader to relate them to their own life. He does not merely tell the reader what happened and how he felt about it, he writes in a way that allows the reader to imagine how they would feel in the same situation. This style of writing made the essay more effective. The reader not only understood what Paul was feeling, but also allowed the reader to understand a little more about their own experiences with loved ones. It also gave his father a legacy. Instead of being forgotten about, people will think of him when they think of past experiences, or when something is happening to them in their modern life. By Paul Auster writing in a
style the reader could relate to, he accomplished what he set out to do, preserving his fathers name, and even more, Helping the reader to understand more about themselves.
Auster, Paul. Portrait of an Invisible Man. Ways Of Reading. Ed. David Bartolomae & Anthony Petrosky. 5th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin s, 1999