Invisibility In Ralph Waldo Ellison's Invisible Man

Good Essays
Invisibility is From the Inside
The novel Invisible Man by Ralph Waldo Ellison contains many unique ideas as well as an overarching internal conflict of invisibility, which the main character continuously strives to overcome. However, this proves to be extraordinarily difficult, because Invisible Man is convinced that this notion of invisibility is placed upon him by those surrounding him, while his transparency is in fact a characteristic that is put on oneself. Invisible Man believes that he is invisible due to the actions of others. However, his invisibility is actually to due the subjecting of himself to manipulation by the Brotherhood, his refusal to accept his true identity, and his falling victim to many women. Throughout the novel Invisible
…show more content…
One of these groups is the Brotherhood, which is a major part of the overall plot in the novel. In chapter sixteen of Invisible Man, Invisible Man gives his first speech under employment of the Brotherhood. He speaks to a crowd about “no more dispossessing of the dispossessed” which, in more simple terms, means “stop taking away the homes and property of those who have already suffered”. Invisible Man gets the crowd extremely riled up and causes an uproar in the auditorium in which he is giving his speech. He believes that he has done an excellent job with his speech, but afterwards, he is immediately shot down and discouraged by the Brotherhood, who say that his speech is not “scientific enough”. This can be seen on page 350 where one of the members of the Brotherhood says, “It was the antithesis of the scientific approach. Ours is a reasonable point of view. We are the champions of a scientific approach to society, and such a speech as we’ve identified ourselves with tonight destroys everything that has been said before. The audience isn’t thinking, it’s yelling its head off,” (Ellison 350). Even after delivering a riveting speech and causing an uproar in the audience, Invisible Man is scolded for not doing exactly what the Brotherhood wants. He is subjected to lessons with Brother Hambro, who will supposedly be able to teach…show more content…
With each action throughout the novel, Invisible Man continuously abandons his identity and attempts to find it within something else, whether this is in the Brotherhood, women, or a northern culture. His inability to be himself in this world that is trying to conform him to their own image is the ultimate trigger to his downfall and
Get Access