Thursday, April 26, 2012

Religion and Relationships

Edward O. Wilson in his novel On Human Nature devotes a whole chapter to religion and how it is in human nature to have religious beliefs. He begins the chapter by stating “The predisposition to religious belief is the most complex and powerful force in the human mind and in all probability an ineradicable part of human nature.” (Wilson 169) In another one of his novels Consilience The Unity of Knowledge he claims that because religions are so similar to superorganisms, they follow the primary role of human existence “that whatever is so necessary to sustain life is also ultimate biological.” He analyzes the validity, necessity and overall sociobiological explanations for religions and beliefs in a god or gods. In effect, Wilson gives his highly educated sociobiological examination of religion and how it is a vital part of human nature. Because it is so vital to our humanity, it is inevitable that one would see it in numerous works of fiction, and mean a wide varies of different things, but I would contend in that in the novels Moby Dick by Herman Melville and Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison the themes of religious and spirituality have the same interconnected meaning. To many people, their religious communities are a symbol of fellowship acceptance and union. It is a coalition of individuals that share a common faith that equates to a connection with each other. Both Ellison and Melville include religious themes in their novel to represent their characters position in regards to their relationships with others.
Wilson believes that genetically we are predisposed to partaking in religious behavior. The idea of religious groups or worshiping in unison for a common goal, according to Wilson, is a vital part of our humanity. As aforementioned, a major part of religion is its ability to “circumscribe a group and bind its member together in unquestioning allegiance”(Wilson 177). According to Wilson, religious groups and sects are bound together and constantly connected with each other through their common religion. In his analysis, Wilson deemed religion as a point of connection between people which brings them closer together. Due to the fact that “religion is above all the process by with individuals are persuaded to subordinate their immediate self-interest to the interest of the group” it is the perfect metaphor for community, fellowship and acceptance. Ellison and Melville bring up themes of religion and religious groups and use them to show how their protagonist are related to and connected with at larger group or individual. Both authors see religion as the perfect symbol for connections between people and over all unity. 
Earlier on in the novel we are introduced to Trueblood, an ignorant black man who was accused of raping and impregnating his daughter and forced to live on the border of the narrator’s college campus. Trueblood is one of our first and most perfect examples of isolation and seclusion from his community. The black students and faculty of the college see Trueblood as a massive disgrace to the black community. Because he is hated and shunned by his own people, he lives in seclusion. When Mr. Norton insists that he and the narrator go to visit Trueblood, Trueblood gives his dramatic account of the events according to his perspective. He claimed that even though he was not aware of what he was doing, he felt terrible. Trueblood sought out absolution and attempted to go to the preacher and repent. He tried to seek acceptance in the place he assumed guaranteed unwavering forgiveness but unfortunately was wrong: “I goes to see the preacher and even he don't believe me. He tells me to git out of his house, that I'm the most wicked man he's ever seen and that I better go pray but I caint” (Ellison 66). He is truly shunned by his community. Because the church is supposed to offer fellowship and forgiveness, he went to them to repent but was rejected and therefore deemed as an outcast. Ellison uses the abandonment by the church to show that Trueblood is truly abandoned by his community and continues to use religion as a symbol of acceptance and fellowship, or lack there off in regards to the narrator.
Initially we see that the narrator is isolated from his identity, his family, his past and from society. He is a lonely and confused narrator who is having an incredibly difficult time trying to determine who he really is. He has been expelled from his university and forced to move to New York, a place that is completely foreign to his southern upbringing. When he arrives at a Men’s House in Harlem, he is presented with a chair, a bed, a dresser and a Gideon Bible lying on a small table. He begins to read that bible and becomes nostalgic: “I turned to the book of Genesis, but could not read. I thought of home and the attempts my father had made to institute family prayer” (Ellison 162). When the narrator is reminded of home the feeling of a connection becomes too much for him and he turns away from it. Alone in an unknown territory, he finds something that makes him feel closer to home, but instead of embracing it, he neglects it. He turns away from the one sense of familiarity, kinship and connection that he finds and instead goes to find a job. The narrator does not want to feel that sense of community or connection with his past and his family so he puts down the Bible. By turning away from this religious symbol, in effect, he is turning away from any past allegiance he possessed.
As the narrator continues to explore Harlem, he realizes that he is far more alienated than he previously thought. The narrator manages to find work but is met with a considerable amount of adversity which culminates in a violate accident that causes him to be hospitalized. In the hospital he goes through an experimental lobotomy procedure that leaves him feeling disoriented and abandoned but also changed; he begins to feel so alienated that in his words he has “lost his sense of direction” (Ellison 258). As the narrator wanders the streets emotionally, spiritually and literally lost, he comes across a group of white men who are attempting to evict a poor old black couple.  The white men were ravaging the couple’s destitute home, repossessing all of their possessions and leaving them with nothing. One of the men immerged from the house holding the elderly woman’s bible and she immediately accosted them: “Just come stomping and jerk your life up by the roots! But this here's the last straw. They ain't going to bother with my Bible!" (Ellison 270).” At this point the narrator begins to feel connected to the people, seeing their struggle and feeling that he is a part of it. He feels a sense of community and amity that urges him to take a stand. The couple demands to go back into the house to pray and the white men refuse. The narrator starts to orate on behalf of the couple and gives a speech so compelling that this causes the group that has manifested to start a riot. In the midst of the narrator’s speech, he implores the re-po men to let the elderly people pray, he exclaims: “They don't want the world, but only Jesus… How about it, Mr. Law? Do we get our fifteen minutes worth of Jesus? You got the world, can we have our Jesus?” (279). The narrator sees the importance of religion in their lives, how God is a grounding point for them, and how praying and their bible brings them comfort and security in the time that the feel most isolated. The narrator sees that and uses it as a way to connect with these people. Through connecting with them he connects with the entire community. The narrator uses his bible and prayer as a way to relate to the elderly couple and ultimately reuniting himself with the whole community. As the Narrator embraces the idea of prayer, he also embraces the community, his culture, and his identity which are all triggered by embracing religion. 
After all of the drama subsides, a man who we later learn is named Brother Jack, offers the narrator a position in a group that he calls the Brotherhood. They claim to be dedicated to social change and betterment of the conditions for black people in Harlem. They want the narrator to give speeches to the community about the plight of the black man in America agrees. The narrator joins the Brotherhood because they represent a sense of fraternity that the narrator is longing for. The narrator thinks that the group has the communities’ best interest in mind but he turns out to be wrong. One of the brothers disappears for some time and is later found by the narrator selling racist “Sambo” dolls. The brother - Brother Tod Clifton - gets into a fight with a police officer and is gunned down. The pain of Clifton’s death, juxtaposed with him selling symbols of racism, ignites hatred in the narrator. He eulogizes Clifton, telling the community to protest his death and rise up together but surprisingly this angers the brotherhood. They rebuked the narrator for not consulting the group while the narrator contended that he knew what was best for the community and their wellbeing, to which they jokingly responded with this: “He’s in touch with God… the Black God.” (Ellison 471)  When one of the brothers says this he doesn’t mean that the narrator thinks he is in touch with his spirituality, he means that the narrator thinks that he is in touch with his community. He is trying to show that narrator that he assumes that he knows what best for the people of his community and what the future holds for them in the same way that God would. By comparing the narrator’s assumed connection with the community to a connection with God it’s shows how strong that connection appears to be. He saying that the narrator thinks he has a meaningful and deep connection to the people analogous to a connection with God. The narrator is trying to say that he understands the community, but Brotherhood do not does not believe him, but the only way to show him how outlandish his claim is is by comparing it to a deep spiritual connection.  Religion, to the Brothers represents communion and an important mutual relationship so this is the best comparison that the brothers can make to show the narrator the magnitude of what he’s claiming. Yet again we see Ellison using religion to represent and highlight unity and connections ideas of community.
The narrator’s response to the Brotherhood’s jeering is an interesting one. “Not with God nor with your wife, Brother” (Elision 471). One would assume, at first glance, that the narrator is denouncing his connection to the community but that is not the case. With that retort the narrator is denouncing his relationship with the Brotherhood. By proclaim that he has no relationship with God or his Brother’s wife he is saying that he no longer connects with the Brotherhood on a whole as a society and individually as members of a family. The narrator realizes that this is not the type of fraternity that he was looking for and distances himself from the Brotherhood. With this declaration the narrator announces his separation from the brotherhood. He leaves the Brotherhood and is later confronted by Ras that forces him to conceal his identity in public. He dons a pair of sunglasses with dark green lenses that alter his perceived appearance so much that people think he is another man: Rinehart. Rinehart is a lot of things to a lot of people, a lover, a hipster, a gambler, a briber, and finally and most importantly, a reverend. The narrator stumbles upon a spiritual revival that is supposed to be run by Rinehart the reverend and the emotion and energy that the people at the service emit has so much power that the narrator is compelled to leave.
It was too much for me… could he be all of them: Rine the runner and Rine the gambler and Rine the briber and Rine the lover and Rinehart the Reverend?... He was a board man, a man of parts who got around. Rinheart the rounder. (Ellison 498)
This worship service caused the narrator to realize just how disconnect he really was to his community and his identity. This man, Rineheart, who meant something to so many people and affected the entire community, was nothing like the narrator. This man had an identity, several identities and the narrator barely even had one. Rineheart was actually a part of the community and such an integral part of it that he was a preacher. In the most community-oriented forum, Rinheart was the leader, and with that the narrator realizes that he is far from connected. This is a pivotal instance in which Ellison uses the ideas of community and fellowship that are so ingrained in religion to give insight into the narrators struggle to be a part of his community. By showing that Rineheart is so important that he has been anointed to a high religious position of preacher, Elision shows how disconnected and isolated the narrator truly is from his community.
            This brings us to the narrator’s final epiphany. After all of this he is forced into seclusion in an underground basement. Although these events take place in the prologue, chronologically they happen at the end of novels events. He recounts a tale of a time that he smoke reefer and had a visions about the spaces in between time in jazz music, a church service and an old singer of spirituals. The preacher is talking about the Blackness of Blackness how blackness with and wont get you, how it makes and un-makes you. The narrator questions the spiritual singer and asks her why she is moaning.  She’s said that he slave master has died and although he hated him he also loved him because he was the father of her two children.  She claimed that she loved he master for giving her her children but hated him for not giving her the one thing she wanted most: freedom. This love hate relationship completely baffles the narrator. He can’t understand whether Freedom lied in love or in hatred or why the woman still cared for her master. It is evident that the narrator cannot yet understand his people and his community. The trouble and dilemmas of a slave woman are completely foreign to him. Here we see how disconnected he is from his past and his culture. His questioning bothered the woman so much that she became dizzy and her son had to take care of her.  The son came to her aid and attacked the narrator for harassing his mother. “Git outa here and stay, and next time you got questions like that, ask yourself!” (Ellison 12). We see now that if the narrator really wants to find a way to be connected with his community and his race he must find that method within himself. And all of this happens in during a church service on the Blackness of Blackness.
            When Elision presets us with scenes in which religion is the focal point of discussion he is using it to alert us to the deeper theme of community, togetherness and connection with others. Ellison uses religions symbols and ideas as segways into the true topics of fellowship and bonding. When we see a character embracing religion they are embracing fellowship and when they reject it (or it rejects them) they are choosing a life of seclusion and segregation. Even when a character is not directly involved in a religion practice we see them making an assertion one way or the other how they relate to the community. Melville does the same thing with his characters only one a smaller more intimate scale. When he is attempting to develop the relationship between Ishmael and Queequeg he uses Queequeg religion and religious tattooing to connect them. He shows how as Ishmael begins to accept and understand a person of another culture he begins by accepting and understanding their religious values.
When we first meet our other first person narrator, Ishmael he is also a lost, troubled and isolated individual. He often considers suicide and attempts to or actually gets into physical altercations. The narrator decides to join a whaling crew in hopes of exploring the sea. As he arrives in New Bedford he came upon an unknown building that he assumes to be “The Trap”.  When he entered it he unknowingly interrupted an all black church service. With this seen we see early on about his views other cultures and their religious practices. 
It seemed the great Black Parliament sitting in Tophet. A hundred black faces turned round in their rows to peer; and beyond, a black Angel of Doom was beating a book in a pulpit. It was a negro church; and the preacher's text was about the blackness of darkness, and the weeping and wailing and teeth-gnashing there. Ha, Ishmael, muttered I, backing out, Wretched entertainment at the sign of 'The Trap!' (Melville 11)
Ishmael is unconcerned and about the events going on in that pseudo church. He feels no connection to the preacher or what he is preaching; he is an outsider walking into this world that he does not know so he immediately backs out. He is obliviously discontented with the preacher who he deems a “black Angel of Doom” referring not only to his race but also about his profession. Ishmael is disconnected and displeased by this all black religious service so instead of investigating it further he removes himself from it promptly. Here we see a connection between Ishmael and the narrator of Invisible Man, not only in relation to their initial isolation from religious practices which equates to an isolation from others but also we see a direct borrowing by Ellison of Melville’s work. We see obvious similarities better the sermons on The Blackness of Darkness in Moby Dick and The Blackness of Blackness in Invisible Man. Because we see such a strong connection between the two authors it is inevitable that we will see a connection in their writing between the ideas of religion and community and relationships.
            Ishmael reaches The Spouter inn where he is paired with a foreign harpooner who is also seeking a job on a whaling ship. He is forced to share a room with this savage cannibal who is a native an island in the South Pacific Ocean. This foreigner, named Queequeg is immediately revolting to Ishmael. His appearance may be the most frightening thing to the narrators because Queequeg is covered from head to toe in tribal tattoos. These tattoos, we learn later have spiritual, religious and cosmic meaning. In Queequeg’s fictional primitive tribe religion and culture are one and the same, so I would content that these tattoos are not only cultural but religious as well. Wilson in is novel Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge that tribalism and religion are powerful allies and that they become interconnect and intertwined in certain cultures. (Wilson – Consilience 281) These marking although beautiful to Queequeg are utterly appalling to Ishmael. To Ishmael these markings do not represent his rich spiritual heritage but a cultural so different from his that not only cannot he not understand it he doesn’t want to.  Here we see how much Ishmael wants to distance and isolate himself from Queequeg due to his xenophobia but his main point of disgust are Queequeg’s religious tattoos.
            As the novel progresses we see that Ishmael becomes comfortable with Queequeg. He begins to grow accustomed, to a certain extent, to his differences and his cultural intricacies and he even joins Queequeg in a social smoke out.  This ritual, according to Queequeg, qualifies them as married, so he gives Ishmael half his possessions and they share a marital bed. Instead of thwarting this idea of marriage with a savage earlier on he accepts it and embraces it. Ishmael is even prepared to join in pagan worship with Queequeg, however his only stipulation is that Queequeg must be willing to join him in a ritual of Christian worship as well. We see here yet again how Melville uses religion or a religious practice to represent a union between people. If Ishmael is willing to worship with a person who he previously deemed as a brutal savage, it is evident that he in on the road to accepting Queequeg. Because Ishmael feels a personal (and one could contend physical) connection with Queequeg he feels the need to seek a spiritual connection with him as well. Ishmael does not only want to join Queequeg in worship but he also wants to introduce Queequeg to Presbyterian traditions. This type of reciprocal, cross religion worship is a monumental sign of union. We see that Ishmael truly wants a deep connection with Queequeg because he is willing to partake in the rituals of a foreign religion.
            Later on, Ishmael observes Queequeg in a full on religious display. Ishmael accepts it at first but when he sees what his approval of this ritual really connotes he withdraws his approval. Initially Ishmael claims that he “cherish [es] the greatest respect to everybody’s religious obligations”(Melville 91) supposedly not matter how foreign they are but when Queequeg locks himself in a room and is so deep in meditation that he is unresponsive, Ishmael panics. He gets so scared that grabs the landlady of the inn to help him break down the door so he can confirm Queequeg’s safety. They discover him unharmed and the landlady assures Ishmael that Queequeg is fine and that they should not disturb him. With this frantic display of affection we see how much Ishmael truly cares about Queequeg. When Queequeg’s ritual is over Ishmael finds the need to reprimand Queequeg
Now, as I before hinted, I have no objection to any person's religion… [b]ut when a man's religion becomes really frantic; when it is a positive torment to him; and, in fine, makes this earth of ours an uncomfortable inn to lodge in; then I think it high time to take that individual aside and argue the point with him. (Melville 94)
Initially, Ishmael was ready to willingly participate in Queequeg’s foreign religious practices, but now when he sees what tolerating these practices really means he rejects them. He sees that he deeply cares for Queequeg and after this display of affection in front of the landlady he sees how unacceptable the love is. In an effort to attempt to push Queequeg away from him and to show that their relationship is not as meaningful as it seems he attempt to attack Queequeg’s religious practices and deem them  “uncomfortable” and ”frantic.” To refute this socially unacceptable relationship Ishmael attacks Queequeg’s religion, one of the most poignant metaphors for their relationship in the novel. Yet again we see a character distancing themselves from religion in order to distance themselves from a relationship or a connection to other people. It is blatantly evident that this coupling of ideas is an ongoing theme for both authors.
Near the end of the novel, after Queequeg and Ishmael’s, relationship has fully grown we see a full on acceptance and tolerance of Queequeg religion by Ishmael. We see Ishmael embracing the one thing that previously made him utterly revolted by Queequeg, his tattoos. In an effort to understand more about whales he travels to the Arsacides, to a village named Tranque to visit Tranquo, its king. This tribe is probably not too dissimilar to Queequeg as they also practice tattooing. In Tranque there is a huge whale skeleton that they use as a temple, Ishmael decides to measure this skeleton and have the dimensions tattooed on his arm. This is another symbol of commitment to Queequeg and the bond they have. Ishmael journeys to tribe that is analogous to Queequeg’s and has one of their places of worship tattooed on his arm. Tattooing alone is a sign of unambiguous sign of devotion to Queequeg and his religious culture because at that time, as a white man, having tattoos was unheard of.  Furthermore, in effect, Ishmael tattooed a church on his arm, and as this church is a pivotal symbol of the tribes’ spirituality, this tattoo is an irrevocable symbol of his dedication to his relationship of Queequeg.
Steve Rosenthal, a Sociologist at Hampton University and a critic of Wilson’s works argues that religions and religious groups do not promote community and fellowship but rather subservience. It allows people to be controlled because they have a higher power to answer to, according to Rosenthal.
Therefore, religion is "a necessary device of survival," because it promotes submission to the group. Religion "is also empowered mightily by its principal ally, tribalism." Moreover, humans by nature are easily indoctrinated and manipulated (pp. 245-260). The human brain, Wilson asserts, "is a stone-age organ." It makes people "intuitive and dogmatic," emotional and unscientific. (Rosenthal)
I would contend that this is simply not the case. In both Moby Dick and Invisible Man there is no instance of subservience in regards to religion in any capacity. When Ishmael and Queequeg have their pseudo marriage it is a mutual union where no man appears to be in a dominating position. When the narrator in Invisible Man gives a speech in the attempt to stop the old couple from being evicted he is attempting to inculcate himself into the community by showing that he cares about it’s well being. Religion is the thread that ties these two instances together but never once does manipulation or submission come into play.
            It is apparent that there is a thread running between both novels uniting them with the theme of religion. When both character are actively embracing religion the other is attempting to alert the reader to the fact that they are attempting to strengthen or maintain a relationship with others. When we see a character refute or distance themselves from religion we see that the want to remain isolated and alone. Both authors adhere to Wilson’s definition of Religion that is why they make is one of the cruxes of their novel. This unifying them of religion helps the read or both novels see when and how the protaganist are trying to make connections with other respectively. 

Moby-Dick, an Evolutionary Text

In Marcuse’s One-Dimensional Man, he analyzes society in post WWII, Cold War period, and criticizes his belief that capitalist society encompasses and influences all aspects of life.  Though writing in a much different industrial, technological time his theory on art is can be relevant to understanding and appreciating Moby-Dick.  Marcuse presents the idea that art of the past and what he considers should be the ideal role of art is to offer an alternative, a rational purpose to the widely help, often oppressive societal views: “literature and art were essentially alienation, sustaining and protecting the contradiction […]  they were a rational, cognitive force revealing a dimension of man and nature which was repressed and repelled in reality.”(Marcuse 61).  In this way, Marcuse glorifies art that is transcendent, that moves beyond the constraints of common beliefs of the time to express an unpopular opinion.  Moby-Dick is a strong example of this type of art as a piece of literature presenting emerging evolutionary thought in a time when a fixed Biblical interpretation of species was the predominate belief.  On the Origin of Species, the evolutionary doctrine published by Darwin eight years after Moby-Dick can be used to show how Melville presented and transcended not only the novel as a piece of literature but also importantly popular opinions on species by presenting scientific reason within an epic on whaling.  Leaving Marcuse’s theories on art, this paper will examine two problems with traditional beliefs on species which led to the discovery of evolution and how they were presented in Moby-Dick as well as the unique way in which Melville incorporates scientific observation into his description of whales, comparing with Darwin’s On the Origin of Species.
The first problem which brought about a revolutionary change in thought in the field of evolution was the issue of classification of species. The problem stemmed from the great influx of knowledge of new species which occurred during in the eighteenth and ninetieth centuries with discovery and colonizing of foreign lands.  The engrained belief that species could be placed into distinct categories, reflecting the fact that they were created distinctly proved very difficult when such wide variations of species and between those of the same species was realized.  The biggest problem to classification is outlined by Darwin in On the Origin of Species as “[t]he existence of groups would have been of simple signification if one group had been exclusively fitted to inhabit the land , and another the water; one to feed on flesh, another on vegetable matter, and so on; but the case is widely different in nature; for it is notorious how commonly members of even the same sub-group have different habits, [ …] dominant species belonging to the larger genera in each class […] vary the most”(Darwin, 351). 
Cetelogy is a chapter in Moby-Dick which reads as almost a classification textbook and discusses the classification of whales.  Ishmael outlines the differences and distinctions between subgroups, however, it can be interpreted as an entire chapter dedicated to representing a specific instance of the problem of classification which helped lead to the discovery of evolution.  In discussing which part to use to classify as “whale” it is stated “in various sorts of whales, they form such irregular combinations (of characteristics); or, in the case of any one of them detached, such an irregular isolation; as utterly to defy all general methodization formed upon such a basis”(Melville 176).  The solution to this as presented by Ishmael is to then “boldly sort them”(176).   And in Cetology, these distinctions are crudely shown by comparing some whales’ features to the others and creating three vague groups in which to organize the species.  While Ishmael goes on to describe twelve types of whales in detail, he concludes by presenting a list of uncertain whales of which he does not know enough about to classify and states that perhaps they can be fitted into the already loose arbitrary system of classification.  The way in which Ishmael has to resort to combining some species together, leaving out others, focusing on some similarities and ignoring others, mirrors the problems of those studying species at the time of Darwin.  It is interesting to note that, it would be one thing for a biologist to say there is great variation even within species, but Melville using whales specifically is a good comprehensible example.  A reader can begin to understand the problem of classification and in this way, Moby-Dick represents art by Marcuse’s definition, in providing a criticism to popular belief and an accessible criticism.  This chapter not only gives background information to the reader but also nudges the reader in an evolutionary direction and in this way attempts to get the reader to transcend beyond the classic interpretation of species.  Further, here is a place where Darwin’s On the Origin of Species can provide a direct answer to the problem of classification, and arguably had it be published after Moby-Dick, it may be speculated that Melville would have included it: “I believe that the arrangement of the groups within each class, in due subordination and relation to the other groups must be strictly genealogical in order to preserve natural order; but that the amount of difference in the several branches or groups, though allied in the same degree by blood to their common progenitor, may differ greatly being due to the different degrees of modification which they have undergone”(Darwin 358).  Darwin’s solution to the problem of classification in Cetelogy is to base the groups off of those related, in present times, related genetically.
Another very relevant issue that brought about study in the field of evolution during the nineteenth century was the discovery of fossils of species that were no longer on the earth.  This contradicted the engrained belief, based off of the story of creation, that species were created at the same time and were still in existence.  Attempts to bring together the story of creation and extinction included theories of times of great catastrophes which destroyed a population of species and that some were saved by means of an ark or divine intervention.  Extinction and the discovery of fossil forms were, on the other hand, great support to the theory of evolution as proof that species change over time.  In On the Origin of Species, Darwin states “the theory of natural selection is grounded on the belief that each new variety and ultimately each new species is produced and maintained by having some advantage over those which it comes in competition and the consequent extinction of the less-favoured forms inevitably follows”(Darwin 278).  Fossils are thus examples of species that died out through the process of evolution but are still very similar to present species because they are their ancestors.  Melville addresses the idea of species, from a very evolutionary perspective in the chapter The Fossil Whale.  Here he states: “I desire to remind the reader, that while in the earlier geological strata there are found the fossils of monsters now almost completely extinct; the subsequent relics discovered in what are called the Tertiary* formations seem the connecting or at any rate intercepted links between the anti-chronical creatures.”(Melville 526). The concept of fossils as outlined in The Fossil Whale is in complete accordance with the theory of evolution in that Melville recognizes their significance as being ancestors of present forms rather than unrelated ancient species, who died from a mysterious catastrophe.  Striking here is the use of the word “link”, to which Darwin spends considerable amount of time in On the Origin of Species discussing transitional forms between past and present species.  Links forms are essential to the theory of evolution as they present support for natural selection through the gradual buildup of advantageous characteristics which result in a change in species, ultimately changing it altogether.  This chapter shows moving beyond fixed theories of species, not only for early evolutionary thought but also into modern evolutionary theory, as biologists in modern times continue to search for these transitional linking forms to greater understand the evolution of species.  In this way, the discussion of fossils represents remarkable forward thinking, and in Marcuse’s way, art.
In addition to the classification problem presented and the issue of extinction and fossils, the way in which the whale is described first by the function of its features makes Moby-Dick a transcendentally scientific piece of literature.  Understanding the function of features of animals is essential to evolutionary study as a feature that is better for performing a function for passing on genes is the mechanism by which species develop.  Darwin describes natural selection as “individuals having any advantage, however slight, over others, would have the best chance of surviving and procreating their kind” (Darwin 79).  This process in which change in a species occurs and is based off having physical features better suited to an environment.  From this it can be inferred that all features of an organism if developed through natural selection have a functional purpose. Function is less important to the fixed understanding of species because function was not the sole determining factor in their creation.  It is one thing to wonder at how god created such intricate animals that are perfect for their environments but understanding function and small differences between those of a similar species leads to understanding that species are suited for their environments because those environments of their ancestors created their genetic history.  When discussing the tail of a whale after commenting on its “appalling beauty” and “titanism of power”, Ishmael proceeds to outline in great detail the five motions of the whale’s tail:  “First when used as a fin when used as a fin for progression; second, when used as a mace in battle; Third, in sweeping; Fourth in lobtailing; Fifth in peaking flukes”(Melville 438).  Interpreting this from an evolutionary way, the five specific and important motions of the whale’s tail can be seen as a testament for how this sort of appendage would be advantageous for a creature like the whale to develop including as mentioned by Ishmael, for protection and for fights over mates.  In evolutionary theory, all features serve some survival or reproductive purpose.  The outline given of all of the intricate uses the whale has for its tail and how essential it is for survival brings together again the idea of function being directly tied with the creation and definition of a particular species.   
Another interesting passage to consider when discussing form and function is when Ishmael is describing the Right Whale and the Sperm whale and their differences as they are being suspended from the ship.  In the chapters The Sperm Whale’s Head – Contrasted View and The Right Whale’s Head – Contrasted View, Ishmael presents the differing features of the two types of whales including their size, jaws, and the presence of lack of oil and teeth.   When describing the Right Whale, Ishmael discusses a possible purpose to the hairy fibers that are present in this type of whale rather than teeth as being “through which [it] strains the water, and in whose intricacies he retains the small fish”(Melville 392).  While the purpose of the teeth in the sperm whale are not considered in these chapters, it could be speculated as defensive would is mentioned briefly in the passage with the squid.  The fact though, that the function and differences between the two species is considered shows and the depth in which they are considered represents an objective way of approaching the study of species.  The concept of the features of a whale’s mouth and its origin can be further examined by a brief mention in On the Origin of Species as Darwin states: “in North America the black bear was seen by Hearne swimming for hours with widely open mouth, thus catching, like a whale insects in the water.  Even in so extreme a case as this, if the supply of insects were so constant, and if better adapted competition did not already exist in the country, I can see no difficulty in a race of bears being rendered, by natural selection, more aquatic in their structure and habits with larger and larger mouths, till a creature was produced as monstrous as a whale” (Darwin 189).  This speculation of Darwin’s expands upon the concept of the features of a whale’s mouth by saying that if it were advantageous, even a bear could develop to become like a whale, and thus providing a potential answer for how the two species of whales developed different mouth features. 
Additionally it is in this similar comparison of related species which lead Darwin to come up with the concept of evolution and the ability to even entertain the thought of a land dwelling mammal like a bear evolving into a whale.  Listing the facts and minute details through observation and previous knowledge shows a scientific approach to the study of species.  This is different from the crude classification system employed earlier as it is more detailed oriented and is similar to way that Darwin was able to come to his conclusions through careful reason and tedious observations (Weiner 27).  Darwin reflects on the voyage of the beagle in which he made comparisons between species, significantly between finches, that the “most important […] and determin[ing factor to] my whole career was attend[ing] closely to several branches of natural history and […] my power of observation”(Darwin 1).  Melville’s writing, using the example of the different types of whales shows very careful observation and consideration to detail. It wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibilities to imagine Ishmael having similar thoughts concerning the differences between these two types of whales as Darwin did when comparing finches, as it is shown that he attended to the importance of function of features.  In this way, it can be considered forward thinking text in that it presents the reader with a rational reasonable way to approach species.
In conclusion, Moby-Dick can be appreciated as a transcendent piece of literature in the field of evolution and thus can be respected as a great work of art, using Marcuse’s definition of what art should be.  Melville presents the problems which were relevant to leading Darwin to bring together the theories of natural selection and survival of the fittest into the theory of evolution.  By giving the reader an accessible example of the issue of classification and an explanation for fossils, Melville creates questions and theories that On the Origin of Species directly addresses and answers.  Additionally, the use of scientific observation and careful description in Moby-Dick reflects a rational technique and approach to the study of species which moved beyond the thinking of the time in rationality.  Marcuse states “the artistic alienation is the conscious transcendence of the alienate existence – a “higher level” or mediated alienation” (Marcuse 60).  Moby-Dick can be viewed not only as art that reflects an alienation, as it opposed accepted opinion of the time, but also art that is successful in assisting in change of that society.

Marcuse, Herbert. One-Dimensional Man. Beacon, 1991.
Melville, Herman. Moby-Dick. New York: Barnes & Noble Classics, 2003.
Weiner, Jonathan. The Beak of the Finch. New York: Vintage Books, 1994.

Invisible Blackness: Nigrescence and Double-Consciousness in Ellison

"[B]eing a problem is a strange experience,--peculiar even for one who has never been anything else." -WEB Dubois Ellison's narrator in Invisible Man spends the entirety of the novel trying to find his identity. He states: "I am an invisible man...I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me" (Ellison 3). By immediately fixating readers' mind around his invisibility, the narrator is able to position them in such a way as to accept the journey on which he is about to take them. He wishes not to "awaken the sleeping ones" (Ellison 3), that is to say, those who form an opinion of him, who see something that is not him, who make him invisible. The narrator battles against and with concepts of blackness and identity. As the narrator moves along his path of discovery, he understandably becomes upset and lashes out. As E. O. Wilson states in On Human Nature, "human beings have a marked hereditary predisposition to aggressive behavior" (100). While Wilson points out that there is an array of reactions to each situation, the reader can conceptually understand aggression through the example of Ellison's narrator. Thus, by studying the narrator's pattern of aggression, the reader can better understand every human's struggle with accepting his role in society. The novel stands as an examination of the journey of acceptance of one's double-consciousness--the perception of one's self through others' eyes--and the process of nigrescence, of becoming black, and the aggression inherent throughout the journey. From the very beginning, the narrator equates his invisibility with WEB Dubois' concept of double-consciousness. In his book, The Souls of Black Folk, Dubois sets out his theory, stating that, "the Negro is a sort of seventh son, born with a veil, and gifted with second-sight in this American world, --a world which yields him no true self-consciousness, but only lets him see himself through the revelation of the other world" (12). That is to say, that black people do not have the luxury of having their own identity, but must grapple with that which is thrust upon them. The narrator struggles with this concept the entire way through the book, dealing with the identity of black scholar slapped on him by the rich white men of his town when he gave his speech on humility, the worst than "the dumbest black bastard in the cotton patch" (Ellison 139) placed on him by Bledsoe when the narrator first learns that "the only way to please a white man is to tell him a lie (Ellison 139), the mischievous Brer Rabbit identity unwittingly supplied by the doctors and the hospital machine, and the super black orator identity imposed on him by Brother Jack and the Brotherhood. He struggles to identify with any of the personas he is given, becoming frustrated and disillusioned when he cannot reconcile himself with any one identity. Thus, he realizes that he is invisible, that is to say, doubly conscious. The narrator would no doubt agree with Dubois when he writes, "it is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes of others, of measuring one's self by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity" (12). The narrator recognizes this phenomenon of being seen physically but unperceived. Therefore, he must move through the world in such a way that he discovers part of his true identity, that is to say, his blackness. In his discussion of the theory of nigrescence, or becoming black, Princeton educated psychologist William E. Cross propounds that "the challenges of being Black are modified through the exploration of new questions that crop up at different points across the lifespan of development" (122). It is important to recognize the overlap here between Cross and Dubois: both men have put forth a theory which puts heavy stock in a person's blackness. The narrator must come to terms with this blackness in order to fully realize his potential. Knowing on a conscious, factual level that he is black, and believing that humility is the way to success, the narrator begins in some stunted recognition of his double-consciousness. He realizes that this identity he has is supported by the whites in his community, but he has yet to see that they are what's causing this identity. That is so say: the narrator does not realize that he is looking at himself through the eyes of the white person, that his identity is forced upon him rather than self-imposed. Throughout the beginning of the book, the narrator lives in what Cross calls the pre-encounter stage, where race is of little or no consequence to a person. The narrator is haunted by the words of his grandfather, that as a black man, he needed to "live with [his] head in the lion's mouth...overcome 'em with yeses, undermine 'em with grins, agree 'em to death and destruction, let 'em swoller [him] till they vomit or bust wide open" (Ellison 16). A person in this pre-encounter stage would not be able to make much sense out of this seemingly outrageous statement. Outside of acceptance of the way he is treated as a black person, the narrator does not go out of his way to question what he is or how society views him. Rather, he is part of some amorphous category: the black ones. In other words, in the pre-encounter stage, the narrator is acquiescent and pacific in his understanding of race identity. This non-confrontational behavior is exhibited throughout the beginning of the novel, while the narrator continually does as he is told, and, again, and again, is punished for doing so. During his speech on humility, "the room was filled with the uproar of laughter" (Ellison 31) and the narrator fears "that they'd snatch [him] down" (Ellison 31). After his misadventures with the eminent Mr. Norton, Bledsoe chides the narrator for doing as he's told, yelling "My God, boy! You're black and living in the South--did you forget how to lie?" (Ellison 139) followed by "Nigger, this isn't the time to lie. I'm no white man. Tell me the truth!" (Ellison 139). Bledsoe exhibits a cultural form of aggression that the narrator does not understand. As head of the university, Bledsoe has as much power as any black man in the South at this time can hope to possess. The narrator does not understand why, humility his proverbial aim, he should not habe done as Norton instructed. Bledsoe, having already completed his nigrescence, and with a keen understanding of the role and function of double-consciousness in Southern society, enacts upon the narrator what Wilson defines as "disciplinary aggression used to enforce the rules of society" (102). Being so firmly entrenched in the identity that white culture has thrust upon him, the narrator does not see that Bledsoe is an example gone bad of his grandfather's advice. Bledsoe has "lived in the lion's mouth", but only for his own gain, not that of the entire black community. As such, Bledsoe refuses to let anything, especially the actions of someone he deems naive, get in the way of his power, so he exerts this kind of aggression on the narrator. Later, the narrator will come to understand this kind of aggression, yet, while he had accepted it before, he then holds it in contempt. Even when he moves to New York and gets a job, he is constantly reprimanded for doing as he is told. He starts his day mixing paints, but does as he is told, makes a small mistake and is thrown into Brockway's hands. As the narrator returns from getting his lunch and running into the union meeting, Brockway screams that he will kill him, "you impudent son'bitch" (Ellison 226). This last event begins the encounter stage of Crossian nigrescence; it is the last straw for the narrator. Encountering a sort or revelation that this kind of reaction on Brockway's part should not be allowed, he tells the reader that "something fell away from me" (Ellison 225); the pre-encounter placidity is gone. The narrator has reached the encounter stage of nigrescence by recognition of his own miseducation: I seemed to be telling myself in a rush: You were trained to accept the foolishness of such a man as this, even when you thought them clowns and fools; you were trained to pretend that you respected them and acknowledged in them the same quality of authority and power in your world as the whites before whom they bowed and scraped and feared and loved and imitated, and you were even trained to accept it when, angered or spiteful, or drunk with power, they came at you with a stick or a strap or a cane and you made no effort to strike back, but only to escape unmarked. But this was too much . . . he was not grandfather or uncle or father, nor preacher or teacher. Something uncoiled in my stomach and I was moving toward him, shouting, more at a black blur that irritated my eyes than a clearly defined human face, "YOU'LL KILL WHO?" (Ellison 225) By realizing that what he has been taught about interactions with people, not limited to Brockway himself, the narrator has an epiphany moment, although he his not quite sure what it means yet. Wilson writes in his analysis of human aggression that it does not resemble a fluid that continuously builds pressure against the walls of its containers, nor is it like a set of active ingredients poured into an empty vessel. It is more accurately compared to a preexisting mix of chemicals ready to be transformed by specific catalysts that are added, heated, and stirred at some later time” (Wilson 106) That is to say that the narrator has had these uncertainties about how he has been taught to treat others, who he has been taught to respect, and whether these teachings are actually beneficial. He is taken aback by his sudden questioning of ideas that he has been taught and rules he has followed since childhood. Mixing this confusion with a newfound pride in himself, and a sense that he should not be treated the way he has been his entire life forms" the rage that he aims at Brockway. Initially, he is shocked by this internal monologue, after the fight with Brockway is through, but suddenly Brockway tries to kill him again. In the aftermath of the explosion, the narrator says that he "was understanding something fully" (Ellison 230), that is, his miseducation, his identification with the white perception of blackness, and his own lack of blackness. The narrator's subsequent encounter with the hospital machine cements his transition into exploring his blackness. While there, the doctors treat and speak of him rarely in terms of anything but his psychology, but when they do mention anything besides his brain, they use racial stereotypes, calling "They really do have rhythm, don't they? Get hot, boy! Get hot!" (Ellison 237) as he spasms from the electric currents. As they try to test his brain, coax him to remember, the doctors brought up the memory of Buckeye, or Brer the rabbit. As they question him about the character, he laughs internally, recognizing the nod to his blackness, and describes himself as "giddy with the delight of self-discovery" (Ellison 241) as he identifies with the character. He realizes as he leaves the hospital that he has been playing into white culture's perception of him the entire time. [P]erhaps I was catching up with myself and had put into words feelings which I had hitherto suppressed. Or was it...that I was no longer afraid? I stopped, looking at the buildings down the bright street slanting with sun and shade. I was no longer afraid...I felt light-headed, my ears were ringing (Ellison 249) The narrator's realization and acceptance that he is no longer afraid pushes him closer to accepting his blackness. He is no longer afraid of a lot of things: the white man and the trustees of the college and Bledsoe, but most importantly, he is no longer afraid of his own blackness. The narrator moves into a transition phase where he begins to explore his blackness. Having not paid Mary for food and shelter for awhile, he finally accepts that maybe her suggestions of "some act of leadership, some newsworthy achievement" (Ellison 258) have some merit to them. He decides to explore his place in the black community by meeting with Brother Jack. Almost as soon as he takes up with him, though, his blackness is questioned by Brother Jack's mistress, Emma, who asks "don't you think he should be a little blacker?" (Ellison 303). The narrator is both uncomfortable and antagonized by the statement because he is unaware of his own role in the community. He wonders what he can do to show his blackness, "sweat coal tar, ink, shoe polish, graphite?" (Ellison 303). Once he accepts the job, Ellison does not even bother to cover the adoption of this new identity with any sort of literary veil: "'This is your new identity,' Brother Jack said" (Ellison 309). The narrator gladly accepts this new identity in the eyes of the others, being so unsure of himself, but he vows to "be no one but [him]self--whoever [he] was" (Ellison 311). The whole phase of transition, according to Cross, because the person is struggling to reconcile who he has been with who he is and who he will be. "All the fireworks of identity metamorphosis are contained in this middle stage," writes Cross. "for within its boundaries, the old identity and emerging identity do battle" (122). The narrator feels at this point, and throughout his entire tenure with the Brotherhood, the acute sting of double-consciousness, for "[h]e simply wishes to make it possible for a man to be both a Negro and an American, without being cursed and spit upon by his fellows, without having the doors of Opportunity closed roughly in his face" (Dubois 13). The narrator tries to reconcile his blackness with his humanness and this proves difficult to him. Before he leaves Mary's house, the narrator sees a cast iron bank that had previously gone unnoticed. Formed in the stereotypical caricature of a black man, the bank is offensive to the narrator and he breaks it in a fit of rage caused by "the tolerance or lack of discrimination, or whatever, that allows Mary to keep such a self-mocking image around" (Ellison 319). This figure represents not only the cultural perception of himself that he had formerly not noticed or cared about, but also his intolerance of anyone else who has not reached his stage of nigrescence. Wilson propounds that "[h]uman beings are strongly predisposed to respond with unreasoning hatred to external threats and to escalate their hostility sufficiently to overwhelm the source of the threat by a respectably wide margin of safety" (119). This effigy of the stereotypical black man offends the narrator so much, and threatens his newfound sense of blackness, that he overreacts, pounding the offensive image to a pulp, spilling its contents everywhere. He yells at the object, as if it is the entire black community, to "[g]et rid of your cottonpatch ways! Act civilized!" (Ellison 329). The narrator wonders why he did not notice the bank before, and the reader can clearly see that it is because it did not offend him earlier. Since he has come to recognize and embrace his blackness, he sees the image as representing his old self, the caricature of the agreeable, humble black community. Refusing to be seen that way, and wary of anything that threatens his newly embraced blackness, he eliminates the threat like Wilson says humans are want to do. Although he believes in the work the Brotherhood is doing, the narrator finds himself constantly haunted by dreams of his grandfather. Being under the white man's supervision, even in a seemingly biracial partnership deeply disturbs the narrator and he struggles against the pacific nature of his former life and the incendiary nature of his current identity. Once he realizes, after Clifton's death and his rousing eulogy, that the Brotherhood has basically used him, depersonalized him to the point of being a pawn in their game similar to the way white society had made him a pawn in their forced identity of the black community, the narrator decides to take his grandfather's advice and "agree 'em to death and destruction" (Ellison 16). Having come to terms with his blackness, the narrator no longer wants to be given an identity that he cannot control. He realizes that it is best to be himself rather than accept the identities that others thrust upon him. As he reminisces on his journey, the narrator admits that he had let others project their own perception of identities onto him, and he realizes that his problem was that he "always tried to go everyone's way but [his] own" (Ellison 573). By allowing himself to be doubly conscious, or, as he calls it, invisible, he "finally rebelled" (Ellison 573). Having come to terms with his nonconcrete identity as well as his invisibility, the narrator does not feel threatened anymore, and no longer feels the need for aggression. Unlike his nonaggression before, he is not merely being pacified by the white population, but instead, he has a clear sense of his blackness and a wary eye to having identities thrust upon him. So, in the end, the narrator's acceptance and embracing of his invisibility is a way of embracing his blackness, who he is, his own identity.   I'm shaking off the old skin...I'm coming out, no less invisible without it, but coming out nevertheless. And I suppose it's damn well time.  Even hibernations can be overdone, come to think of it.  Perhaps that's my greatest crime, I've overstayed my hibernation, since there's a possibility that even an invisible man has a socially responsible role to play (Ellison 581) The reader has travelled the entire book to realize that being invisible is not a bad thing. Rather, invisibility is something to be embraced, because it means not that one has necessarily found the right identity, but that he has found his own identity. The narrator shirks all identities placed upon him. He realizes, in the end, that the invisibility is part of his identity, whatever that may be, and that his time of "covert preparation for a more overt action" (Ellison 13) has passed. He finally recognizes that he must take social responsibility, not in the way the rich white men who praised his speech want him to, nor in the way the Brotherhood wanted him to, and not through aggression, but in whatever way is most appropriate to his role as invisible. By admitting his own culpability in the rocky story of finding and accepting his blackness and invisibility, the narrator invites the reader to accept his own invisibility, too, for the novel is not about findings concrete identity, but rather being open to shaping oneself rather than simply accepting what one is told that they are. Works Cited Cross, William E. "Nigrescence Theory: Historical and Explanatory Notes." Journal of Vocational Behavior. 44.2 (1994):119-123. Print. Dubois, W. E. B.. The Souls of Black Folk. New York: Arc Manor, 2008. eBook. Ellison, Ralph. Invisible Man. New York: Random House, Inc., 1995. Print. Wilson, E. O. On Human Nature. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2004. Print.

Ellison, Marcuse, and the Consciousness of Servitude

                Invisible Man and One-Dimensional Man have a clear relationship in that they deal with the issues of social-domination and the inability to recognize it.  Both Ellison and Marcuse are contending with this topic in slightly different ways.  Marcuse is mainly concerned with the overall power structure that is dominated by a select, privileged few, a power structure that perpetuates the destruction of multidimensional thought.  Ellison, on the other hand, focuses his lens a little more closely on the factors that racial tensions bring into this power structure.  In this essay, it is my objective to argue for a clear relationship between the power structures present in both Marcuse and Ellison.  Specifically, I will investigate how Marcuse’s “consciousness of servitude” is related to the narrator’s role as well as other characters  in Invisible Man.
                Marcuse asserts, “All liberation depends on the consciousness of servitude, and the emergence of this consciousness is always hampered by the predominance of needs and satisfactions which, to a great extent, have become the individual’s own” (Marcuse, 7).  Here, Marcuse is saying that for true freedom to occur, everyone must first realize that they are in fact not free.  Only then can people confront the status quo with alternatives, instigating a movement towards liberation.  However, this raises a problem: people are generally too preoccupied with attaining basic needs, or are too concerned with achieving success to realize that they are bound to the ultimate form of servitude.  As Box explains, Marcuse goes on to construct “a broader analysis of society that finds people distracted by sports, fun, and technology and pursuing the “false needs” generated by advertisements for consumer goods, and settling into the Happy Consciousness that no longer wonders whether there are alternatives to the status quo” (Box, 172).    Due to this fact, ultimate liberation may never present itself as a feasible goal. Box elaborates, “over time, an outline emerges of a society in which business and government cooperate to stifle knowledge of alternatives, prevent changes in the status quo, and preserve the advantages enjoyed by a few. Marcuse called this condition “containment”” (Box, 173).  The power structure’s containment of alternatives, coupled with the preservation of the status quo, may deem the Marcuse’s consciousness of servitude unattainable.  
                Marcuse’s idea of attaining the consciousness of servitude can be related to The Invisible Man on several occasions throughout the novel. However, the occasion that I would like to first investigate appears in Chapter 1, where the narrator’s grandfather speaks his dying words, “I never told you, but our life is a war and I have been a traitor all my born days, a spy in the enemy’s country ever since I give up my gun back in the Reconstruction” (Ellison, 16). The preceding quote from the narrator’s grandfather troubled his family greatly.  What exactly did he mean by this statement?   I believe that the grandfather meant that he regretted living a humble life in such a racist environment.  In living this meek life, he felt that he was a traitor to his family and his race.  The grandfather proceeded to tell his family to protect themselves by remaining compliant to the white power structure, but not to internally accept this role.  If they do not accept this role, they will not be traitors like him.  I also believe that the grandfather felt that his family could somehow overcome the current power structure by staying in the compliant character.  Jarenski explains, “the narrator's grandfather uses invisibility as an accommodationist tactic. He hopes on the one hand to disappear beneath a veil of yeses and grins so that he can live outside of the disciplinary gaze, and wishes on the other hand that his meek compliance will frustrate white power to the point of explosive destruction, causing it to vomit and burst” (Jarenski).    The grandfather’s dying words greatly trouble the narrator, as we see in the following quote, “It became a constant puzzle which lay unanswered in the back of my mind. And whenever things went well for me I remembered my grandfather and felt guilty and uncomfortable.  It was as though I was carrying out his advice in spite of myself.  And to make it worse, everyone loved me for it. I was praised by the most lily-white men of the town. I was considered an example of desirable conduct—just as my grandfather had been” (Ellison, 16). In the early stages of the novel, the narrator seems that his is accepting the role that the white power structure wants him to play.  He receives great praise for his behavior and is even given a scholarship to a black college.  The narrator seems to be well on his way to living the humble life his grandfather lived and regretted.
                This event directly relates to Marcuse’s consciousness of servitude.  The grandfather seemed to live a life that was presumably more concerned with basic needs then actually fighting against a system of white domination.  Throughout his life, the grandfather did not possess, or just refused to acknowledge, the consciousness of servitude that is referred to by Marcuse. However, it seems that the grandfather eventually gained this consciousness of servitude later in his life.  The narrator seems unable to fully grasp the consciousness of servitude early in the novel. He has been distracted by praise and benefits given to him, such as the scholarship. He continues to be blind to the fact that he is being taken advantage of in several instances like the “battle royal” in which he was made to participate.  All of the praise and gifts act as a cover that the narrator cannot see through.  This is very similar to Marcuse’s comments on the consciousness of servitude and how it is hampered by personal wants and needs.  The narrator does not yet possess this quality. All of the approval and acclaim prevent him from seeing his servitude, and in effect prevents the thought of real liberation from entering his mind.
                Let us investigate the battle royal event more closely as I believe it clearly demonstrates the motives of the power structure and the inability of the narrator to fully recognize how he is serving it.  At this event, the narrator was under the impression that he was only there to give a great speech in front of a white audience; he felt very good about this opportunity to demonstrate his abilities.  However, the narrator is made to participate in a battle royal with other black kids before giving the speech.  The narrator makes his initial thoughts about this very clear, “I suspected that fighting a battle royal might detract from the dignity of my speech. In those pre-invisible days I visualized myself as a potential Booker T. Washington” (Ellison, 18).  These thoughts show that the narrator does not yet recognize that by participating in the battle royal, he is serving the white power structure of the status quo by playing the role that the whites at the event want to see him play, a barbaric black fighting for coins.  Instead of recognizing his role, all the narrator can think about is how this battle royal might affect his upcoming speech.  Jarenski explains, “the narrator looks to find identity within the roles assigned to him by the white audience. His primary concern is how they will perceive his dual role as a participant and a speaker. At this point, the only way in which he is able to conceive of his identity is from their perspective. The use of the word visualize, a highly charged word throughout the novel, highlights this conception. Whites can only "see" the narrator when he performs the roles expected of black men, as in this case when he can only give his speech after he has been dehumanized by the battle. Similarly, he can only visualize himself within the context of a black role that has already been officially recognized, specifically that of Booker T. Washington” (Jarenski).  The narrator’s concerns about the battle royal do no change much throughout the event.  As the battle intensifies, the narrator explains, “The harder we fought the more threatening the men became.  And yet, I had begun to worry about my speech again.  How would it go?  Would they recognize my ability?  What would they give me?” (Ellison, 24).  Once again, we see that the narrator’s main concern is with how the battle royal will affect his speech instead of being concerned with how he is being used.  The narrator is more concerned with whether or not his ability will be recognized and what he will be given as an award.  As he makes his speech, the white audience jeers him when he mentions equality.  The narrator insists that he said something else and finishes his speech.  Later the narrator is presented with a college scholarship, cementing that everything he went through was worth it.  The narrator fails to see through this gift as a way of disguising his servitude, and as maintaining the status quo by showing the narrator that playing a certain role will get people like him somewhere in life.  Any alternative thoughts that the narrator may have are contained by praise and gifts.  This prevents the narrator from attaining the consciousness of servitude at this point of the novel.
                 “This is the pure form of servitude: to exist as an instrument, as a thing . . . the organizers and administrators themselves become increasingly dependent on the machinery which they organize and administer. And this mutual dependence is no longer the dialectical relationship between Master and Servant, which has been broken in the struggle for mutual recognition, but rather a vicious circle which encloses both the Master and the Servant” (Marcuse, 33).
                This quote from Marcuse also connects to Ellison. This quote is asserting that even the so-called masters of the power structure in place fall victim to it. They are bound to it and live their lives perpetuating it. The masters constantly seek more power while at the same time defend against the loss of power.  Box states, “Although people might be vaguely aware of the absence of alternatives, they are fearful of endangering their current position” (Box, 175).  An instance where this is clearly demonstrated in Invisible Man is when Bledsoe is admonishing the narrator.  The following quote is from Bledsoe, “This is a power set-up, son, and I’m at the controls.  You think about that. When you buck against me, you’re bucking against power, rich white folks power, the nation’s power—which means government power! (Ellison, 142). This quote illustrates Bledsoe’s view of his position at the college. He sees himself as holding authority over everyone at the college, and he seems pleased by this.  Even though his power in a way perpetuates the system of white control, Bledsoe loves his position. However, he seems to be very nervous and self-conscious about his power; he is very afraid that he might somehow be removed from his position of authority.  Bledsoe’s role in this connects to Marcuse’s comments on the Master and the Servant.  Even though Bledsoe holds power over the narrator, there is no classic master-servant relationship.  This is because both Bledsoe and the narrator are being controlled by the system dominated by whites.  Bledsoe is so concerned with keeping his power that he fails to see that he too is being controlled.  Bledsoe is blind to how he is being manipulated into perpetuating the current system in place.  He does this by being more concerned with keeping influential whites happy and giving them what they want to see, than with helping his race and college community progress against the system of domination.
                Towards the end of the novel, I believe the narrator clearly demonstrates that he has attained Marcuse’s consciousness of servitude to some degree.   This is seen when the narrator has sexual encounters with white women. “The narrator has two sexual encounters with white women that confirm and intensify his sense of himself as the abject. The first of these encounters happens in the context of one of the narrator's speeches for the Brotherhood, a political organization that pays the narrator to deliver speeches and organize community action, and, in the process, assigns him a commodified identity. The speeches represent moments of visibility for the narrator, and they are supposed to be moments of growing subjectivity. However, his sexual encounters suggest continued objectification” (Jarenski).  During these encounters, the narrator comes to realize that the white women see him only as a primitive sexual being for their rape fantasies.  While the narrator seems a bit unsure about this role in the first encounter, he fully recognizes it in the second encounter with a woman named Sybil.  When she asks him to rape her, the narrator plays along with the role saying, “I rapes real good when I'm drunk” (Ellison, 521).  I believe this is the narrator’s way of following his grandfather’s advice by giving the white woman what she expects to see from him.
                 The narrator has also discovered a new identity for himself, one of invisibility.  “Sybil's desire to believe she has been raped coincides with his realization that, to her, he is just another black brute. This realization awakens a new sense of reality in the narrator and he declares, "I'm invisible”” (Jarenski).  He does not go through with the sex act, as he feels sorry for her.  He cannot bring himself to dominate the woman and make her powerless and invisible like he has been to whites.  He instead decides to help the drunken Sybil to a taxi.
                The sexual encounters with the white women, coupled with the realization that the Brotherhood was merely using him for their own means, leads the narrator to finally become conscious of his role of servitude to the white power structure.  Now that he recognizes this role, he creates a new identity for himself; he now considers himself invisible.  At the end of the novel, we see the narrator still living in the secluded basement from the prologue.  The narrator still remains unnoticed by the outside world.  He hints that he may emerge from this basement by stating, “I’ve overstayed my hibernation, since there’s a possibility that even an invisible man has a socially responsible role to play” (Ellison, 581).  When the narrator emerges, will he follow his grandfather’s advice to continue to yes and grin em’ to death? On the other hand, will the narrator find some other way to fight to white power structure?  Will he choose to do anything at all? Unfortunately, we will never know the answers to these questions.
                In conclusion, there is a clear relationship between Marcuse’s consciousness of servitude and the events that take place in Invisible Man.  The narrator goes through a clear transformation concerning this attribute.  Early on, the narrator is blind to his servitude; he is only concerned with praise and advancement.  Throughout the rest of the novel, the narrator becomes more and more aware of his role of servitude.  His realization that the Brotherhood was using him, along with the realization that the white women he had sexual encounters with only saw him as a rape fantasy object, allowed the narrator to gain the consciousness of servitude that Marcuse refers to.  This resulted in the narrator forming a new invisible identity for himself.  In addition, other characters such as Bledsoe reflect Marcuse’s view on servitude and the power structure at hand.

Works Cited:
Box, Richard C. "Marcuse Was Right." Administrative Theory & Praxis (M.E. Sharpe) 33.2 (2011): 169-191. Business Source Complete. Web. 10 Apr. 2012.
Ellison, Ralph. Invisible Man. New York: Vintage International, 1995. Print.
Jarenski, Shelly. "Invisibility embraced: the abject as a site of agency in Ellison's Invisible
                Man." MELUS 35.4 (2010): 85+. Academic OneFile. Web. 10 Apr. 2012\
Marcuse, Herbert. One-Dimensional Man. Beacon, 1991.

The heroism of transcendental goals

            The beauty of the writing in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is the intricacy of the main characters. Victor and his monster both lie in ambiguous grounds between hero and villain, and it is up to the reader to decide that individually. The monster is obviously a very deep character, constantly seeking acceptance and increased knowledge. It is hard to describe its exact place in the novel in such black and white terms as hero or villain. The novel itself is not a tale of a hero conquering a villain. It is about a quest for knowledge and the dangers that can be associated with that. Levine discusses the implications of transcendental knowledge within the context of this novel. “Frankenstein embodies one of the central myths of realistic fiction in the nineteenth century, even in the contrast between its sensational style and its apparently explicit moral implications. It embodies characteristically a simultaneous awe and reverence toward greatness of ambition, and fear and distrust of those who act on such ambition” (Levine 18). The monster becomes more dangerous as he acquires more knowledge and grows, and Victor creates the monster in his search. They both become separate from the society that surrounds them in accordance with their quests for greatness and power. While anybody would admit that these two main characters are not flawless, it is possible to say that they are both heroes in this novel as they pursue the common goal of knowledge and understanding.
            When beginning to debate if these characters are heroes, it must first be defined what a hero is from a very basic sense. Many people proclaim they have a hero based on the accomplishments of that person that came from their pursuit of an ultimate goal. This pursuit of a clearly defined goal and the rigors involved in the path to obtain it can describe a hero as much as any other definition. In this case, aren’t Victor and the monster both heroes? These are two characters are constantly at odds from the moment the monster is conceived. It is very easy to cast either of them in a villainous role for some of their appalling actions towards each other. However, that would only occur if this novel was viewed from a more fairy tale viewpoint. This is an older novel made during a time when many intellectuals were seeking new knowledge on a journey to self fulfillment, and there was a great deal of emphasis on the individual. Both Victor and the monster could be considered Romantics in this way. The creation of the monster is Victor’s largest attempt at his aspiration to become a godlike figure. This creation forms an obvious connection between the two characters, albeit somewhat of a familial one. Despite their differences, they are both searching for the same transcendental knowledge to go beyond the capabilities of humanity as an individual. George Levine discusses heroism in the novel, and he states:
 Frankenstein spells out both the horror of going ahead and the emptiness in return. In particular, it spells out the price of heroism … Heroism is personal satisfaction writ large. That is, it implies the importance and power of the individual human being, not in the web of responsibilities which constitute personal action within his family and society and which deter him from all but the most compromised and therefore moderate satisfactions, but in the testing and fulfillment of personal powers. To test is to risk loss, and, of course, disenchantment with self. To risk the test is to cut the cord, to assert one’s selfhood as an independent being of others. The alternative to the test is repression of self, the establishment of constraints for the sake of order and peace. Frankenstein is, in a way, about cutting the cord” (Levine 28-29).
Both characters are on a path for personal satisfaction. After the monster is abandoned, his personal satisfaction would come from an abundance of knowledge. If Levine is correct, the monster is displaying heroism by showing strength despite his loneliness. He laments it, but he never lets it impede him in his search for higher knowledge. This definition of heroism in the novel can also apply to his link with Victor. Victor is on a search to “cut the cord” and go beyond other humans in terms of knowledge and accomplishments. The monster removing some of the people closest to Victor allows him to more easily continue his search for the things he desires. The monster essentially frees up Victor to be a hero fueled by endless ambition. Later in the novel when the monster requests that Victor create a companion for him to share his life with, he initially refuses the request and eventually destroys his creation before it is brought into life. The two characters both prevent traditional familial happiness for the other so they are both able to continue on their quests. Victor probably best states the case that these two should be considered heroes at the end of the novel when he addresses Walton’s men who want to turn their ship around:
“Did you not call this a glorious expedition? And wherefore was it glorious? Not because the way was smooth and placid as a southern sea, but because it was full of dangers and terror; because at every new incident your fortitude was to be called forth and your courage exhibited; because danger and death surrounded it, and these you were to brave and overcome. For this was it a glorious, for this was it an honourable undertaking. You were hereafter to be hailed as the benefactors of your species; your names adored as belonging to brave men who encountered death for honour and the benefit of mankind” (Shelley 248).
This passionate speech by Victor can apply to both his quest and that of the monster. A glorious expedition is something that would be transcendent and never done before. This is precisely what Victor and the monster are trying to do in their search for knowledge and power. They both had treacherous journeys with many problems, but they both overcame in different ways and continued on the quest. This speech could also reflect the link between Victor and the monster which is always present because it ends up being indicative of both characters and their journeys. The most accurate way to describe these characters in terms of heroism comes from Levine’s article. “As an ambitious hero, he wants to change things, to improve them, and much of the novel, as I have pointed out, regards the mechanisms of society as cruel and unjust” (29). This describes Victor as an “ambitious hero.” This is the most accurate way to describe Victor and the monster in terms of their searches. They both long for family and a sense of community, but these are things that prevent them from pursuing their goals so they see society as unjust. They, instead, both have a great deal of ambition in their endeavors, and they both seek to improve their own fame and knowledge throughout the novel. In their respective searches to accomplish new levels of intelligence and undertakings, they could both be considered heroes.
If one were to view the monster and Victor through E.O. Wilson’s eyes, he might see that Wilson would see these people as heroes as well. These two characters both cannot accept normal human biological limitation that is placed before them, and they strive to reach new goals for mankind. Victor attempts to conquer death by reanimating that which is already dead, and the monster embarks on a quest to seek an incredible amount of knowledge and understanding. Wilson states, “Thus the danger implicit in the first dilemma is the rapid dissolution of transcendental goals towards which societies can organize their energies. Those goals, the true moral equivalents of war, have faded; they went one by one, like mirages, as we drew closer” (Wilson 4). Wilson recognizes that human beings have become complacent in their quest for more knowledge and growth. These “transcendental goals” are very important for the further advancement of the human race, but they have been largely abandoned over time. Part of this is a moral dilemma. Wilson continues to say that “Innate censors and motivators exist in the brain that deeply and unconsciously affect our ethical premises; from these roots, morality evolved as instinct. If that perception is correct, science may soon be in a position to investigate the very origin and meaning of human values” (Wilson 4). The dilemma that Wilson argues is that humans are almost capable of transcendence, but there is a moral compass that prevents us from doing that. Although if morality evolved in the brain, it may be possible to change the idea of it. Victor is able to overcome this dilemma without much difficulty. “I seemed to have lost all soul or sensation but for this one pursuit … A human being in perfection ought always to preserve a calm and peaceful mind, and never to allow passion or a transitory desire to disturb his tranquility … If this rule were always observed; if no man allowed any pursuit whatsoever to interfere with the tranquility of his domestic affections, Greece had not been enslaved; Caesar would have spared his country; America would have been discovered more gradually; and the empires of Mexico and Peru had not been destroyed” (Shelley 50-51). Victor is able to recognize that some things must be ignored in order to reach new heights. These classical models are used as examples to show that people of the past accomplished these transcendental goals of mankind by going against society and aiming for higher goals. Victor is simply doing the same thing as all these famous men of the past by trying to conquer death. Rauch’s article discusses the conquering of death, and how it would affect a man to have this ability:
“The process of using galvanism in a restorative manner, that is to introduce electricity into objects living or dead was … familiar to scientists … Many others, including William Nicholson, who discussed Aldini's experiments in his Journal of Natural Philosophy, Chemistry and the Arts, agreed: ‘In the mean time the reader, will, doubtless, receive satisfaction from this short notice he [Aldini] has enabled me to give of his labour, on a subject which promises greatly to extend the limits of natural science and may be reasonably expected to add to the powers which man is enabled to exert for his own benefit over the numerous beings around him’” (Rauch 241-242).
Aldini was a man who did experiments using galvanism to attempt to restore dead bodies. Some people, like Nicholson, agreed with his attempts. Nicholson recognizes the sheer power that would come with developing this science. It would be a transcendent triumph for mankind and would allow humans to control the living world in a much more concrete way. Victor’s eventual conquering of death by the creation of the monster from pieces of dead flesh is his transcendental moment where he overcomes moral and physiological boundaries to accomplish a goal that no one else in the world could. It is a heroic moment for him in a more technical sense of the word, and this moment is what defines Victor for the remainder of his life.
            While it is true that the monster commits several unforgivable acts, it is only due to the fact that Victor and other humans are standing in its way on the quest for more power and knowledge. By leaving it to be alone, Victor already made it more difficult for the monster to grow after its original birth. He was the first human being to shun the monster, and the De Lacey family followed suit. From the monster’s point of view, Victor becomes the enemy over time and vice versa for Victor. After that, the monster “Declared everlasting war against the species, and, more than all, against him who had formed me” (Shelley 152). Due to Victor’s abandonment and the rejection, he no longer seeks companionship and is able to look for something else. However, it is important for the reader not to cast either of these characters as the villain. The monster is much more of a hero than Victor in the classical sense of which it is normally thought. It is a being of extremely distinguished, and unparalleled, ability, and possesses godlike power. Shelley does not try to make the monster seem like an average person at any point. It is able to learn and gain strength at a speed that a human could never fathom, and it reaches levels of these things that no human ever could. Rauch describes the scene depicted on page 158 of Frankenstein where, “She was senseless; and I endeavored by every means in my power to restore animation,” and he states that “The enormous strength of the creature contributes to his success … In doing so, demonstrates a moral commitment to the application of knowledge” (240). It commits a soulless act and uses the knowledge it has acquired in its short life to save a young girl’s life. He knows that he is grotesque to humans, and they will most likely be appalled by the site of him; however, he still feels a moral obligation to save this girl based on knowledge it acquired in the past. The monster undoubtedly lives up to traditional idea of a hero.
In general, it is on a search for knowledge and acceptance into the general community. It begins the novel as a solitary character when Victor runs away from it at its conception, and it ends alone in the world after Victor passes. Due to the monster’s solitude, its only real option is to live alone and attempt to gain knowledge on a search for acceptance. When the monster’s narration first begins, it recalls some of its early life to quickly make it a sympathetic figure to the reader. “I was a poor, helpless, miserable wretch; I knew, and could distinguish, nothing; but feeling pain invade me on all sides, I sat down and wept” (Shelley 111). The monster originally is cast as a tragic figure with no knowledge or understanding of the natural world, or itself for that matter. Literary heroes often begin their journeys in a down-and-out kind of state. The monster is able to ascend from this incredibly quickly, but the reader’s sympathy allows the monster to come from a place of fright and confusion and rise towards greater understanding. The monster comes upon the De Lacey family shortly after this, and his quest truly begins then. He is so taken with the family structure and the emotions involved. This interest could be perceived because of abandonment by his father as well. It feels the emotions that the family feels and connects with them, “I saw no cause for their unhappiness; but I was deeply affected by it. (Shelley 120). After it begins to develop emotionally, it quickly acquires a taste for intellectual knowledge. It first wants to understand speech after it hears them communicating with each other, “I found that these people possessed a method of communicating their experience and feelings to one another by articulate sounds … This was indeed a godlike science, and I ardently desired to become acquainted with it” (Shelley 121-122). The monster genuinely wants to learn speech so that he can communicate his emotions to others, whoever those others may be. Its journey toward his goal of knowledge continues to move along, and it seems more heroic as its narration continues. One moment of the narration that is incredibly interesting is when the monster begins to learn of human history from readings of Ruins of Empires. It learns of the historical values of human nature and some of the more intriguing cases. The monster states that “Was man, indeed, at once so powerful, so virtuous and magnificent, yet so vicious and base? He appeared at one time a mere scion of the evil principle, and at another as all that can be conceived of noble and godlike. To be a great and virtuous man appeared the highest honour that can befall a sensitive being; to be base and vicious appeared the lowest degradation” (Shelley 131). After reading this, it is very difficult not to think of the monster itself by the end of the novel. It can easily be described by all of the terms it sets forth here. However, the monster specifies that being base and vicious is “the lowest degradation.” At that point, it becomes known that the monster is not a despicable being that would intentionally harm someone out of malice. It is simply a creature that desires companionship and transcendence and commits some terrible acts in the pursuit of that. These positive features of human’s that it describes such as “powerful, virtuous, and magnificent” are traits that the monster aspires for in the novel. It wants to be held in a high regard intellectually and socially, similar to the heroes that are written in the human history books. To obtain this high regard, it must obtain greater understanding of human nature and higher intelligence. When the monster finds the bag of books, it reaches another level of thinking. It relates to all the books it reads, especially Paradise Lost, and gains a great deal of knowledge from these. By this point, the monster has grown so far intellectually it is obvious that it has a much higher capacity for knowledge than any human. The monster never reaches its heroic goal of being understood by humans, and it wanders alone in the Arctic at the end of the novel. When the monster encounters Walton at the end of the novel, he states that “Once my fancy was soothed with dreams of virtue, of fame, and of enjoyment … I am the same creature whose thoughts were once filled with sublime and transcendent visions of the beauty and the majesty of goodness” (Shelley 256). The monster laments his time alive and the torture he inflicted on his master. He makes it clear in this passage that he was indeed on a quest for fame and transcendence during his life. The way that Shelley contrasts his actual, noble endeavors and his crimes against Victor make his actual quest seem that much more heroic. Compared to the murders it committed, it makes it clear that all it ever wanted was to acquire a tremendous amount of knowledge and reputation. It was all part of his journey, and the fact he uses the words sublime and transcendent in his lament lets the reader know that these were, and still are, the monster’s intentions. He is led to feel bad by society for his crimes, but he still has a desire to obtain knowledge and power deep down. This fact in no way diminishes the monster’s life long quest for acceptance. It does, however, accomplish its goal of gaining an enormous amount of eloquence and knowledge in this pursuit.
            From a more technical definition of the word hero, it can be applied to both Victor Frankenstein and his creation. They both have a great deal of parallels in their stories and their quests to obtain a tremendous amount of knowledge. It is difficult to understand either of these men as heroes, but once morals are put aside, they can be seen as heroic figures attempting to accomplish a defined, transcendental goal. If more readers were able to look at these two as heroes for those virtues, it could help us grow towards more transcendence and growth as a society. The textbook Evolutionary Analysis discusses one of these major problems with natural selection and the further development of human society towards transcendental goals. “[Evolution] is not progressive in the sense of leading toward some predetermined goal. Evolution makes populations “better” only in the sense of increasing their average adaptation to their environment. There is no inexorable trend toward more advanced forms of life” (Freeman and Herron 93). This is just proof that evolution by natural selection will not lead human beings towards any new and major progressions any time soon without a push from the scientific community. Humans have adapted to the environment in place, and, although it is changing more rapidly than ever, there will be no major changes in our DNA or ethical values that come from that. On Human Nature discusses the limitations that humans have placed on themselves through growth of ethics and the inherent problems with natural selection. Wilson believes that emotional responses have evolved via DNA just like any other trait, and he offers a loose idea of what humans may need to do in order to progress ethically and emotionally. “Human emotional responses and the more general ethical practices based on them have been programmed to a substantial degree by natural selection over thousands of generations. The challenge to science is to measure the tightness of the constraints caused by the programming, to find their source in the brain, and to decode their significance through a reconstruction of the evolutionary history of the mind” (Wilson 6). Although it is hard to agree that emotional responses have been formed by genetic natural selection, he does make a very strong point that we need to loosen the constraints of these features in order to advance as a society. Victor’s wayward venture to reincarnate human flesh is certainly an extreme example of this advancement. Rather, the monster’s quest for tremendous amounts of knowledge and power are a more accurate version of where human beings should be trying to go. Although murder is clearly no option, the monster is able to look past some of the ethics he has learned in order to continue his quest. At the end of his novel, Wilson proposes some very important questions. “The human species can change its own nature. What will it choose? Will it remain the same, teetering on a jerrybuilt foundation of partly obsolete Ice-Age adaptations? Or will it press on toward still higher intelligence and creativity, accompanied by a greater – or lesser – capacity for emotional response” (Wilson 208). These questions let the reader imagine these scenarios and try to picture what may happen in the future. Science fiction has always been a genre that imagines what could happen in the future. By understanding the main characters of Frankenstein as heroes for their journeys, the reader would be able to form their own answer about Wilson’s question and recognize that the human species must go through some sort of change in order to transcend the current limitations.
Works Cited
Freeman, Scott, and Jon C. Herron. Evolutionary Analysis. 4th ed. San Francisco: Pearson Benjamin Cummings, 2007. Print. 
Levine, George. “’Frankenstein’ and the Tradition of Realism.” Novel: A Forum on Fiction 7.1 (1973): 14-30. Print.
Rauch, Alan. “The Monstrous Body of Knowledge in Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’.” Studies in Romanticism 34.2 (1995): 227-253. Print.
Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. New York: Dover Publication, Inc, 2009. Print.
Wilson, Edward. On Human Nature. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2004. Print.