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In Austers essay Portrait of an Invisible Man and Widemans Our Time both authors wrote about a specific family member in order to know and understand that person In gathering information both then reflected on their own lives and roles they had played in the other persons life In Austers case he set out to learn about his dead father who was very isolated and distant throughout his lifetime Wideman on the other hand wanted to learn about the life of his jailed brother and how they despite being brothers had had such diverse paths to adulthood Both authors through listening learn about other persons life experiences and they gain a new perspective on shared events Throughout Austers childhood and teenage years he often found himself striving for attention and recognition from his father but continually was let down and was frequently shown that his fathers mind was elsewhere and very detached from the world As he later discovered his father was distant from everyone in his life No one really knew who Austers father had been he was someone different to everyone Auster found that his father was removed from everyone in his life no family really depended on him and in the end no ones life would be truly altered by his death Everything from his job to his family life was all a consistent battle to stay invisible and escape reality Simply by walking away Austers father remained detached becoming a picture and a memory but never a tangible knowable human being certainly not the father Auster had tried to hard to find Death was just another escape to maintain his invisible way of life Although Wideman was writing about his brother who was still alive in a sense he felt as though his brother was now dead imprisoned and destined to change His reason for writing was the family isolation they both had felt growing up Two brothers with
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