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The Sellout
The first book by an American author to win the prestigious Man Booker Prize.
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Did you laugh or cry at the experiments run by the narrator's psychologist/social scientist dad? Does your experience of the world support his three-stage Theory of Quintessential Blackness?

Created: 01/18/17

Replies: 25

Posted Jan. 18, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1358

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Did you laugh or cry at the experiments run by the narrator's psychologist/social scientist dad? Does your experience of the world support his three-stage Theory of Quintessential Blackness?

Did you laugh or cry (or both) at the experiments run by the narrator's psychologist/social scientist dad? Does your experience of the world support his three-stage Theory of Quintessential Blackness, summarized in Fiske's closing monologue?


Posted Jan. 23, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dorothym

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 32

RE: Did you laugh or cry at the experiments run by the narrator's psychologist/social scientist dad? Does your experience of the world support his three-stage Theory of Quintessential Blackness?

Mostly laughed because they were enough over the top to keep me from sympathizing with the narrator and some of the dialogue was hilarious

I do,however, have to admit that as not only a white person but as a white bread white person the frequent use of the "N" word -- I can't even type it -- made me uncomfortable. I read a definition of black (dark) humor was that you would laugh but you would feel bad about it. Guess that was my overall response to this book.


Posted Jan. 23, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
laurap

Join Date: 06/19/12

Posts: 180

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RE: Did you laugh or cry at the experiments run by the narrator's psychologist/social scientist dad? Does your experience of the world support his three-stage Theory of Quintessential Blackness?

A bit of both. Beatty's satire here is not only racial. He takes down experimental psychology as well - and quite effectively. I think dorothym's comment hits the mark. The three-stage theory is interesting to me, but since I'm not black the only way for me to check it out is by observation of others. Based on Beatty's work, I've seen a lot more of Stages One and Two than I have of Stage Three, Although I do think Congressman John Lewis is pretty nearly there.


Posted Jan. 23, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
elizabethk

Join Date: 06/11/11

Posts: 11

RE: Did you laugh or cry at the experiments run by the narrator's psychologist/social scientist dad? Does your experience of the world support his three-stage Theory of Quintessential Blackness?

I didn't exactly cry, but I thought the father was satirically cruel.


Posted Jan. 23, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
melanieb

Join Date: 08/30/14

Posts: 86

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RE: Did you laugh or cry at the experiments run by the narrator's psychologist/social scientist dad? Does your experience of the world support his three-stage Theory of Quintessential Blackness?

I didn't cry, but I saw the meaning in the madness of the experiments and I sighed and read on.


Posted Jan. 23, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
PiperUp

Join Date: 10/27/15

Posts: 71

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RE: Did you laugh or cry at the experiments run by the narrator's psychologist/social scientist dad? Does your experience of the world support his three-stage Theory of Quintessential Blackness?

I didn't cry but I found myself feeling sad at the thought of the experiments. I was relieved that I was reading satire but at the same time aware of & saddened by the cruelty underlying the satire.


Posted Jan. 24, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
poornimaa

Join Date: 05/16/12

Posts: 52

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RE: Did you laugh or cry at the experiments run by the narrator's psychologist/social scientist dad? Does your experience of the world support his three-stage Theory of Quintessential Blackness?

I totally agree with this assessment...it did have me cringe more than once.


Posted Jan. 24, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 310

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RE: Did you laugh or cry at the experiments run by the narrator's psychologist/social scientist dad? Does your experience of the world support his three-stage Theory of Quintessential Blackness?

I never felt like crying, but I felt shock with a sense of sadness for the son.


Posted Jan. 24, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sallyh

Join Date: 09/07/12

Posts: 85

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RE: Did you laugh or cry at the experiments run by the narrator's psychologist/social scientist dad? Does your experience of the world support his three-stage Theory of Quintessential Blackness?

I think satirically cruel is an excellent description of the dad.


Posted Jan. 25, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
vickys

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 28

RE: Did you laugh or cry at the experiments run by the narrator's psychologist/social scientist dad? Does your experience of the world support his three-stage Theory of Quintessential Blackness?

I was a psych major and familiar with most of the original experiments and I'm a bit too literal at times to cry or laugh at the experiments. Some of the original experiments, such as the shocking, didn't make sense with just one person. I appreciated the "craziness" and satire but was not emotionally bothered by it.


Posted Jan. 25, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joanp

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 91

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RE: Did you laugh or cry at the experiments run by the narrator's psychologist/social scientist dad? Does your experience of the world support his three-stage Theory of Quintessential Blackness?

I both laughed and cried. Some of the experiments were so outlandish but the punishments were masochistic and certainly severe child abuse.
I have very little day to day experience with black people as I live in a small rural community. I taught three black children in forty years of teaching. One boy became a part of the school community until cousins arrived and mocked him for his whiteness.


Posted Jan. 25, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
renem

Join Date: 12/01/16

Posts: 88

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RE: Did you laugh or cry at the experiments run by the narrator's psychologist/social scientist dad? Does your experience of the world support his three-stage Theory of Quintessential Blackness?

I was angered by the cruelty of it. It was child abuse, and there is nothing funny about that. As far as the three-stage theory, in my experience of living in the south and being part of the military it would support the theory of three stages.


Posted Jan. 25, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
shirleyl

Join Date: 06/01/11

Posts: 18

RE: Did you laugh or cry at the experiments run by the narrator's psychologist/social scientist dad? Does your experience of the world support his three-stage Theory of Quintessential Blackness?

The narrator's relationship with his father was certainly tragic. Isn't the best comedy based on tragedy?


Posted Jan. 26, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
peggya

Join Date: 06/03/15

Posts: 15

RE: Did you laugh or cry at the experiments run by the narrator's psychologist/social scientist dad? Does your experience of the world support his three-stage Theory of Quintessential Blackness?

I think this is a throwback to the actual psychological studies done in the 1940's which were later included in the Brown vs Board of Ed bell weather case re segregation and its perverse effects. Kenneth and Mamie Clark designed a series of experiments known as "the doll tests" in which children from ages 3-7 were asked which color doll they preferred. The psychologists concluded that color does have a deleterious effect on children's self esteem.


Posted Jan. 26, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 397

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RE: Did you laugh or cry at the experiments run by the narrator's psychologist/social scientist dad? Does your experience of the world support his three-stage Theory of Quintessential Blackness?

I was totally appalled by these experiments. The shock value of reading about them sort of set the tone for how I read the rest of the book. I realized there was a reason for all the craziness being portrayed as it was and was able to enjoy the rest of the story.


Posted Jan. 26, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
millerw

Join Date: 11/30/16

Posts: 6

RE: Did you laugh or cry at the experiments run by the narrator's psychologist/social scientist dad? Does your experience of the world support his three-stage Theory of Quintessential Blackness?

The experiments performed on him make me upset because I feel so bad for him and having to be subjected to that rather than live like a child. He does turn around his experiences and make them humorous but I still can't get past how awful that was of his father to do that.


Posted Jan. 30, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rosienick

Join Date: 03/20/16

Posts: 14

RE: Did you laugh or cry at the experiments run by the narrator's psychologist/social scientist dad? Does your experience of the world support his three-stage Theory of Quintessential Blackness?

I didn't laugh or cry. I just thought the experiments were ridiculous! So over the top.


Posted Jan. 30, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
louisee

Join Date: 06/29/15

Posts: 72

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RE: Did you laugh or cry at the experiments run by the narrator's psychologist/social scientist dad? Does your experience of the world support his three-stage Theory of Quintessential Blackness?

I also cringed when reading about the dad's experiments on his son. I was surprised how well the son had grown up and became a functioning member of society. He has some interesting ideas on improving his community but can take care of himself and help others along the way.


Posted Jan. 31, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mom4max

Join Date: 01/31/17

Posts: 2

RE: Did you laugh or cry at the experiments run by the narrator's psychologist/social scientist dad? Does your experience of the world support his three-stage Theory of Quintessential Blackness?

I neither laughed nor cried; rather I shuddered. Children's impressions from birth are important and imprint themselves onto that life. Therefore, I find it careless to do experimentation with a child. Love should be the primary guide in raising a child and this dad seemed to treat this child more as a scientific exercise.


Posted Feb. 01, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
pennyp

Join Date: 03/22/12

Posts: 278

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RE: Did you laugh or cry at the experiments run by the narrator's psychologist/social scientist dad? Does your experience of the world support his three-stage Theory of Quintessential Blackness?

I certainly didn't laugh, I didn't cry either but it made me edgy and uncomfortable.


Posted Feb. 02, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jww

Join Date: 05/31/11

Posts: 138

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RE: Did you laugh or cry at the experiments run by the narrator's psychologist/social scientist dad? Does your experience of the world support his three-stage Theory of Quintessential Blackness?

The descriptions of the experiments were HIGH satire and have so many tentacles to other stuff that there was no sympathy or empathy (on my part) while reading the story.


Posted Feb. 02, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
N*Starr

Join Date: 03/13/14

Posts: 35

RE: Did you laugh or cry at the experiments run by the narrator's psychologist/social scientist dad? Does your experience of the world support his three-stage Theory of Quintessential Blackness?

I was trying to understand what the author wanted us to take from the experiments. They were well described and cruel, but I felt like I was missing the point. I felt drawn in and upset with his father and I couldn't fully get the satire. What did people think the satirical purpose was of the experiments?


Posted Feb. 06, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
acstrine

Join Date: 02/06/17

Posts: 9

RE: Did you laugh or cry at the experiments run by the narrator's psychologist/social scientist dad? Does your experience of the world support his three-stage Theory of Quintessential Blackness?

I guess I did not understand the satire. One would think black people have suffered enough under white oppression. Why do they need to do it to themselves?


Posted Feb. 06, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
acstrine

Join Date: 02/06/17

Posts: 9

RE: Did you laugh or cry at the experiments run by the narrator's psychologist/social scientist dad? Does your experience of the world support his three-stage Theory of Quintessential Blackness?

Point made. It made me very uncomfortable that any father would expect his son to participate in these type of "experiments"


Posted Feb. 10, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
caroln

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 48

RE: Did you laugh or cry at the experiments run by the narrator's psychologist/social scientist dad? Does your experience of the world support his three-stage Theory of Quintessential Blackness?

i was quite sadden - almost stopped reading this book. I did not like the fact that a black person was doing it to his own flesh and blood. Have they not suffered enough under white people oppression????


Posted Feb. 14, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
beckys

Join Date: 08/12/16

Posts: 6

RE: Did you laugh or cry at the experiments run by the narrator's psychologist/social scientist dad? Does your experience of the world support his three-stage Theory of Quintessential Blackness?

So far removed from the way I grew up! I wouldn't say that I cried but I felt it was really disturbing! I thought it was one of those "funny not funny" episodes..


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