preview

An Invisible Man

Satisfactory Essays
In the novel Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, the protagonist fights to not be invisible in white society. Throughout the novel the narrator struggles to make change in society but as the story progresses he also evolves as a person. The protagonist discovers that while being born African American he had to deal with people trying to set an identity for him.
In chapter one the narrator expresses confusion towards his grandfather's final words. The narrators recalls that his grandfather called himself a "traitor and a spy", in the novel the narrator remembers these words and is constantly trying to identify their meaning. His grandfather also states, "I want you to overcome 'em with yeses, undermine 'em with grins, agree 'em to death and destruction..."(p.16) The narrator states, "It became a constant puzzle which lay unanswered in the back of my mind." (p.16) The narrator put his mind to becoming a leader and bringing change to the black community , he could never define himself as a traitor as his grandfather had called it. The narrators understanding of his grandfather's last words change throughout the novel. At the beginning the narrator did not understand why it was wrong to be the white man's favorite. When Invisible Man was being successful in white society his grandfather's words would come back and haunt him. At the closing of the novel the narrator finally understands that while not being true to his race and himself he had become a traitor. He also comes to the understanding that all those who appeared to want something from him were only looking for personal gain.
Throughout this journey the narrator encounters many people who seem to want him for his talent of giving speeches. Norton uses him for personal gain, while...

... middle of paper ...

...and his family. Both Trueblood and Bledsoe take actions that betray their race but those actions also become rewarding to them bettering their life in one way or another.
In the novel Invisible Man the protagonist sets out on a journey to understand his grandfather's last words. Each experience he encounter changes his perspective over them until finally he realizes he had become what the words described. The protagonist discovers that as much as he tries he will be invisible in society. While the protagonist learned that he is invisible other African Americans were revealed to not be as invisible. Both Dr.Bledsoe and Jim Trueblood stand out from other African Americans whether it was for good or bad. The novel sums up with the author,Ralph Ellison revealing his perspective on the reality of society as he demonstrates the cruelty that exists within racial division.
Get Access