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The Sellout
The first book by an American author to win the prestigious Man Booker Prize.
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What's so smart about the Dum Dum Donut club? When the narrator ponders "What exactly is our thing?", what is he asking about?

Created: 01/18/17

Replies: 6

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

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1318

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What's so smart about the Dum Dum Donut club? When the narrator ponders "What exactly is our thing?", what is he asking about?

What's so smart about the Dum Dum Donut club? When the narrator ponders "What exactly is our thing?" (page 288), what is he simultaneously asking about who has the power to create a cultural identity, who has the right to appropriate it, and who has the right to erase it?


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

Join Date: 06/14/13

Posts: 29

RE: What's so smart about the Dum Dum Donut club? When the narrator ponders "What exactly is our thing?", what is he asking about?

An intellectual is a free thinker. Here they are changing the names of books, trying to remove certain terms from literature,which seems to be the opposite of what an intellectual group is supposed to do. Intellectuals would dissect terms, look to preserve literature as it is. If you change it, you remove the history, the context behind it.


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

Join Date: 05/16/12

Posts: 52

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RE: What's so smart about the Dum Dum Donut club? When the narrator ponders "What exactly is our thing?", what is he asking about?

This club was one of my favorite aspects of the novel, it felt like a contemporary twist to the old village elders forum that exists in so many different parts of the world.


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: What's so smart about the Dum Dum Donut club? When the narrator ponders "What exactly is our thing?", what is he asking about?

The Dum Dum Donut shop is a neutral place. Ideas could be discussed while putting aside all differences. Beatty said, "it's the closest approximation we have to a representative government". The narrator seems to be asking if what they are doing is making a difference in their collective lives.


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

Join Date: 10/27/15

Posts: 62

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RE: What's so smart about the Dum Dum Donut club? When the narrator ponders "What exactly is our thing?", what is he asking about?

I agree with joanp. It seemed to me that the narrator was asking if what they were doing was making a difference in their lives or if they were just another group of men hanging out in a donut shop talking about how good the old days were but not actually doing anything about it.


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

Join Date: 05/16/12

Posts: 52

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RE: What's so smart about the Dum Dum Donut club? When the narrator ponders "What exactly is our thing?", what is he asking about?

I agree with you PiperUp. To me it felt like they were doing both :)


Posted Jan. 28, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
MattGrant

Join Date: 12/06/16

Posts: 4

RE: What's so smart about the Dum Dum Donut club? When the narrator ponders "What exactly is our thing?", what is he asking about?

I read this is the narrator being still unable to answer the question of black identity in America. He doesn't want to castigate the comic on stage for what he said, for implying that black people own that particular comedy night, and he mentions that he doesn't need to stand up for the white people, as they are more than capable of standing up for themselves. But he takes umbrage with the comic saying "This is our thing!" because to him, that doesn't mean anything. Black people don't have "a thing," because their identity has been stripped from them. Or perhaps he's implying a hopeful future in which that "thing" can be created.


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