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Brutal Imagination and Our Time


Though imagination takes place in the abstract world, its power is a decisive force which is not only critical, but also very pervasive, so that its effects are not constrained in the secret realm of the mind, but are readily perceptible in the outward, physical world. It is against this backdrop that both Cornelius Eady with his Brutal Imagination and John Edgar Wideman in Our Time are able to pen very creative and compelling pieces which capture the reality of life on earth. This paper thus seeks to elucidate the importance and potency of imagination as seen in the works contained in the above two works.  In Eady's Brutal Imagination, Nature Poem is chosen for analysis, while in Our Time, the story between Robby and Wideman is the point of focus.  

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The Reasons behind Human Imagination  

Human imagination is a matter that has continued to evade the full comprehension of psychologists and psychiatrists, given that it takes place both voluntarily and involuntarily and in the secret recesses of the human mind. In Our Time, the involuntary and invading nature of imagination is seen in the instance where Wideman has gone to visit his brother Robby in prison, but is not able to fully concentrate on what the latter is saying, given that Wideman's mind is susceptible to wandering into imaginations and listening to self. The esoteric and secretive nature of imagination is seen in the fact that Robby is not able to even detect when his brother's concentration has wandered away. This is because the mind cannot be read. The voluntary aspect of imagination is exemplified by Eady penning down his poem, Nature Poem.

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Therefore, at the heart of all the speculations and attempts to explain imagination, it is accurate to summarize the matter as being underpinned by human nature since man is a rational being. The gravity of this standpoint is that everyone has his own world of imagination and secrets. As psychologists would have it, the human mind is constantly at work, given that it coordinates all the activities taking place within the human body. It is the mind that interprets the visual and the reality in the physical world. On the other hand, whenever there is no need for careful and reflective thinking, the mind may almost always, automatically switch off into the world of imagination.

In respect to the above, there are psychologists who have seen imagination as nature's way of: ridding the rationale compartment of the mind of overuse; and ridding the individual of possible depression. The latter is seen to take place when the mind goes into imagination by wandering into the fantasy world. The fantasy world soothes the individual who has been emotionally and psychologically bruised and scathed by the harsh and glaring rough and tumble of the real world. Thus, imagination serves a catharsis for the human soul and mind.  

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On the other hand, imagination is done naturally but consciously by man to bring about the realization of certain effects as a solution to a given problem. It is natural and rational that when faced with a problem, the human specie will first imagine as many tenable solutions to a given problem as possible. This serves as the imagination stage. It is from this juncture that evaluation will be done on the imagined solutions so as to enable the identification of the most feasible and effective solution.  

The Reasons behind the Authors Imagination 

It is obvious that the authors Cornelius Eady and Edgar Wideman imagine so as to develop and sustain a plot. This imagine, though a complex process, the imagination takes place in both Eady and Wideman's works so that their pieces can be described as imaginative.

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Finding imagination harmful, and whether the cause of the imagination matters, and the effect

Imagination strictly remains amoral. The human mind can be used in imagination either constructively or destructively. The ability of Wideman and Eady to develop the literary works underscores the constructive nature of imagination. In Wideman's failure to control his mind when listening to his brother, the destructive nature (absent mindedness or poor concentration) comes into play.

It is through imagination that for instance, Wideman is able to interweave an array of several issues as the topics of discussion between him and his brother Robby. This use of imagination thus helps Wideman identify and address as many themes as possible. For instance, in one of their talks, Robby recounts how the bank president and tellers always selectively mistreated him. In particular, Robby recounted to his brother Wideman, how every Friday, he would go to the bank to carry out financial transaction. This, together with the fact that Robby is one of the conspicuously few African American, is enough to make Robby known, yet, he is always discriminated against. As a matter of fact, Robby is always made to show his license everytime before his check is deposited and transacted (Wideman, 76).   

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The above instance does not only let the reader into Robby's miseries as propounded by other callous people, but the same also brings to the fore, a manifestation of the socioeconomic vice which is racism. The magnitude of the matter is that Robby is substantively used, so that in his experience, the plight, the struggle of, and the discrimination of the African Americans' everyday life are aptly captured.

At the same time, the place of imagination is seen to have taken center stage in Eady's Nature Poems. For instance, it is because of this imagination that the use of rhymes is extant in the poem. In the fifth stanza, the rhymes "Beginnings" and "Turnings" can be seen in the first and fourth lines, respectively. It is also because of the power of imagination that the poem can be seen to take a form of an interrupted monologue. This is because one stanza leads to another. This is seen when one stanza ends abruptly, only to be completed and succeeded by the succeeding stanza's first line.

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Whether or not it matter if the ones imagining are doing it intentionally or not

To an extent, it does not matter whether an individual caught up in the imagining work is doing so intentionally or unintentionally. This is as long as the individual is able to separate the real world from the abstract world in his imagination. For instance, as long as the ideas being imagined in the mind are not followed through actions, unintentional imaginations remain harmless. As far as intentional thoughts are concerned, the moral law or the universal law can be used to appraise the imaginations as bad or good, by the consideration of the action that subsequently follows up the imagination.


Therefore, it is important to note that imagination forms an important facet of human existence. As a fact, the reality of globe in its entirety is as a result of imagination. Positive values are extant on earth as indicators of positive imagination, while negative values are not direct indicators of bad unintentional imagination. On the contrary, the negative values are indicators of weak self control which ushers in, the inability to contain imagination in the world of imagination, away from the reality of the physical world.

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