All of these quotes support my thesis statement by highlighting different points in the novel where the truth is based on varying factors and is decided by the majority or the powerful few that influence the majority, and in a few cases where the truth is changed through a strong conviction.

·       Quote:  “I made a mistake and yelled a phrase I had often seen denounced in newspaper editorials, heard debated in private.
‘What?’ They yelled.
      The laughter hung smokelike in the sudden stillness. I opened my eyes, puzzled. Sounds of displeasure filled the room.” (Pg 31)

    In this part of the novel the majority is represented by the powerful white men to whom the narrator is giving his high school graduation speech. The reaction of the white men to the phrase 'Social equality' suggests that they believe that the truth about social equality is that it is wrong. This truth is based on the residual idea that African-Americans are racially inferior, as well as a fear of how the white world would change in the truth about social equality was that it was right. Later on in this scene the narrator agrees with them and apologizes for the slip up demonstrating that the has accepted the truth of the majority.

·         “How all of us at the college hated the black-belt people, the ‘peasants’, during those days! We were trying to lift them up and they , like Trueblood, did everything it seemed to pull us down.” (pg. 47)

   The derogatory term 'peasants' used in this quote to describe the rural black community illustrates that the current truth about the rural black community is that it is full of degenerates that are worth less to society than the educated black community. Here the majority is represented by the students and professors from the college. This truth is potentially threatened after Mr. Nortons visit to Trueblood's cabin since he rewards Trueblood for his behavior, because even though Mr. Norton would not be a part of the majority, he is one of the powerful few that can influence the majority.

·         “Oh, yes, my friends. I’m sure you’ve heard it time and time again; of this godly mans labors, his great humility and his undimming vision…..You must see this slave, this black Aristotle, moving slowly, with sweet patience, with a patience not of mere man, but of God-inspired faith—see him moving slowly as he surmounts each and every opposition.” (Pg 120)

This is a quote from Reverend Barbee's sermon at the school, which was highly persuasive and attractive to the narrator and the other students in the school. Rev. Barbee (one of the powerful few) defines the truth of the schools ideology, which includes humility, slow but steady progress, and patience, and influences the students (the majority) into believing in the truth of what he is saying. He bases his truth off of the ideas and opinions of those who founded the school and those that continue to run the school who keep the Rev. company as a part of the powerful few.

·         “What you see here is the results of certain conditions here at the plant. We want you to know that we are only trying to protect ourselves.” (pg 223)

    This quote illustrates how the decision of what is true can be affected by the conditions of society as well as the thoughts, emotions, ideas, etc that it is based off of. In this instance the union members decide that the truth about the narrator is that he is a 'fink' that is spying on them for management. The narrator, who has no power here, has no influence over what they decide and no ability to fight their decision so he has to accept whatever they tell him is true about himself.

·         “So who was dispossessed? Can it be us? These old ones are out in the snow, but we’re here with them. ...They’re facing a gun and we’re facing it with them.” (pg 279)

   This scene finds an elderly couple being evicted from their house due to non-payment of their mortgage. The narrator is disturbed by what he sees, and feels the urge to give a speech.  In his rousing speech, which appeals to the emotions of the audience, the narrator convinces the majority that the truth about dispossession is that it affects all of them in an equally negative way each time it happens to one of their fellow men. He convinces the audience so thoroughly that they force their way past the Marshall and carry all of the couples possessions back into their house. Before the narrators speech the crowd would have just stood and watched trying to 'hide from the shame' of the couple as the narrator put it, but now that they have been convinced the shame of the couple is their shame they feel impelled to put an end to the eviction and all of their collective shame.

·         “Brotherhood was something to which men could give themselves completely; that was its strength and my strength, and it was this sense of wholeness that guaranteed that it would change the course of history. This I had believed with all my being, but now, though still inwardly affirming that belief, I felt a blighting hurt which prevented me from trying further to defend myself. I stood there silently, waiting for their decision.” (Pg 406)

    After the narrator is brought up on charges by the a member of the brotherhood, he feels he has been unjustly accused of something he didn't do. Regardless of how he feels, the truth held by the majority of the brotherhood is that it is free from fractures and disagreements so he patiently awaits the committees decision. The hurt the narrator feels marks the beginning of a turning point for him in regards to what the truth is about the Brotherhood. He can only maintain the current truth if the Brotherhood reaffirms it often enough. Interestingly enough this slight shift in his feelings foreshadows how the community of Harlem changes what it believes to be the truth Brotherhood once the narrator is gone, which is that it is not looking out for their best interests and therefore is not something they can completely give themselves to.