A Response to 'John Henry Days'

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John Henry Days Responses "HAVING SEEN YOUR advertisement in the Chicago Defender, I am answering your request for information, concerning the Old-Time Hero of the Big Bend Tunnel Days or Mr. John Henry" (1%, 57/7109). Sets up the newspaper element of the novel immediate introduction to frame Creates a layer of distance between the story and "reality" or "truth" Creates a distinct sense of voice and perspective and creates a shift in voice Provides introduction to the protagonist and his "(re)quest for information" "The anxious dislocation of travel causes them to compulsively pat pockets for wallets and passports" (2%, 138/7109). Shows the jaded attitude of the protagonist and, in this passage, "narrator" Also a projection of the narrator's own sense of dislocation/displacement Strong indicator of stylistic/philosophic perspective of the author "The desk man at the hotel gave him a press packet when he registered, checking his name off a list, but J. hasn't bothered to look at it so he doesn't know what time dinner is" (10%, 693/7109). Emphasizes extreme alienation experienced by the protagonist Shows at once the level of control and dependence this alienation creates Shows the relative apathy and disdain embodied by the protagonist Part of a recurring theme of order, regularity, and rigidity in this section "Now he isn't the only black person. J. is grateful. If anything goes down in this cannibal region, he thinks, she will send word, and the story of
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