“I am invisible”: The Invisible Man a Novel About Sight

Powerful Essays
When it comes to individuals the simplest way to remain visible throughout life is by the use of a name to define who one is. Without a name to be called one becomes a face, then a face in the crowd, then a face that is barely recognizable, until there is no longer a distinguishment. Ralf Ellison’s novel, Invisible Man, purposely leaves the storyteller nameless in the novel for that sole purpose, “’What’s his name?’ The boy read my name off a card” (Ellison 198). Ellison painstakingly gets the reader excited in anticipation that the narrator will finally be unrevealed. The reader is constantly hoping to fill their desire to be able to create a connection with the raconteur by knowing his name only to be disappointed by “The boy read my name off a card” (Ellison 198). As infuriating as it is for the reader Ellsion had a methodical approach to writing his novel that can only be fully appreciated when one begins to examine the steps of invisibility beyond the unsettling fact that the narrator is simply that a narrator who is never named.
By not having a name does the narrator become obsolete, invisible. What is even does it mean to be invisible. Is it something that is not present? Is it something that a reoccurring common event that one no longer realizes it? Is it the purposeful unacknowledgement of an individual do to the color of his or her skin tone? In the end, the question is never completely answered. Nevertheless, Ellison shows three essential separate stages that display the process of transforming into an invisible man or woman: first denied their own ambition, second denied their right to be their own person, and third one becomes invisible.
The narrator was not always an invisible human, “I, like other men...

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... the dream is reborn the next step is to take control over one’s life by overcoming the falseness in the past. For the narrator that included Mr. Norton, who he originally was a pawn for, “’Young man, I’m in a hurry,’ he said, cupping a hand to his ear. ‘Why should I know you?’ ‘Because I’m your destiny.’” (Ellison 578). Every individual, as the novel demonstrates, is their own being with their own desires. Even though Ralph Ellison feel into the same hole as the narrator did after writing Invisible Man, the point of the story is not about an invisibility, but rather how to rise from the darkness and become something greater, something that is worth seeing, “And, as I said before, a decision has been made. I’m shaking off the old skin and I’ll leave it here win the hole. I’, coming out, no less invisible without it, but coming out nevertheless” (Ellison 581).
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