[Ralph] Ellison has both more and less faith in myth than Eliot. ... Myth is not merely a literary device; it operates in people's minds and in society on a daily basis. This is where the more personal side to Ellison's experience of myth comes in, because of his personal contact with jazz musicians, most notably the great guitarist Charlie Christian. ... The ancient myths that de Tocqueville was referring to are present sometimes, but only as provisional and perhaps as objects of satire. When the narrator [of Invisible Man] emerges from his lobotomy, for example, we are told 'I felt I would fall, had fallen', and then almost immediately see 'a young platinum blonde nibbl[ing] at a red Delicious apple'.