For Hurston and Ellison in laughter as for Mikhail Bakhtin in dialogue, every sounding includes and anticipates a response, revealing the "whole life" of a person or a nation. Hurston's and Ellison's presentation of humor also sharpens the conflictual nature of open-ended dialogue, presenting anger and aggression as an explicit aspect of humor. Challenging Dexter Gordon's suggestion that African American humor is "always making visible the invisible while masking its own anger and rage," Hurston and Ellison use humor to unveil conflict. Hurston suggests that the men who ask the women for their "can" (buttocks) pretend to deride what they want but in fact elevate them. Ellison's black man laughing in a laughing barrel seems to show respect to those who would contain his laughter but actually shows derision. The world is turned backside forward and bottom up—detonating an open-ended "American joke" that is still ongoing.