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The lack of communication, with its destructive consequences, is a central theme for 20th century modernist authors. Sherwood Anderson and Ralph Ellison reveal the aloofness of society and individuals by challenging readers to embrace and question the unnatural truths that their stories represent. Anderson and Ellison position themselves within the societies they create to expose the unattractive realities that surface in response to selfish individuals. The first panelist will outline the grotesque and what it employs. This panelist will also connect Anderson‟s use of physicality to represent his characters lack of communication. The second panelist conveys Anderson‟s idea of the grotesque through the lens of existentialism and then applies this theory to the modern movement as a whole. The final panelist explores the grotesqueness of racism by reflecting Booker T. Washington and Ralph Ellison. He argues the grotesqueness of racism and the difficulties that present themselves within possible solutions. This panel argues that communication failures are the basis of many of our society‟s inconsistencies and ongoing problems. Proper communication in this arena is a critical solution to balanced individuals and a less marginalized form of society.


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  • Event location
    • Robinson Ballroom

  • Event date
    • 21 March 2012

  • Date submitted

    18 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Dr. Anastasia Turner