Despite these two facts the invisible man allows himself to be a “do boy'; by chauffeuring Mr. Norton to slave quarters. It is here that the protagonist can truly be identified as someone that is not in touch with himself because he sacrifices his education for a man that is not concerned about him or his race. Dr. Bledsoe tries to drive this concept into the invisible man when he tells him that “the white folks tell everybody what to think';(Ellison 143). Dr. Bledsoe expels the invisible man from school, hoping that he will learn how to survive and develop an identity that suits him. After being expelled from school, the invisible man begins a journey to make a living for himself.
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.
Only through a long and arduous journey of self-discovery which is fraught with constant and unexpected tragedy and loss does he realize the truth, that his perceptions of himself and of how others perceived him had been backwards his entire life. The story opens with the narrator participating in a "battle royal" prior to delivering a speech on humility, and on the progress of the Black people. These are the days during which he is still a hopeful scholar, defining himself as a "potential Booker T. Washington." At this point he is living the life that others have told him that he should live, and defines himself as he believes he is seen through their eyes, as an icon of what a Black person can achieve and as a role model for his people.
Whether to comply with his grandfather’s wishes to “keep up the good fight” or to act in opposition to whites (227). The narrator blames his grandfather by claiming his self-effacing actions to please the white people “in spite” of himself (Ellison 227) is his grandfather’s “curse” (Ellison 228) rather t... ... middle of paper ... ...n his dream, his grandfather tells him to open the briefcase and read the letter which states “To Whom It May Concern, Keep This Nigger-Boy Running” and he wakes up to his grandfather’s laughter (Ellison 236). Although he has his scholarship, the satisfaction of his goal is not complete. The white society are constantly making African-Americans believe they have a chance and there is still hope and so they thrive off this hope that is still in the white society’s control. White people will always be exploiting him and African-Americans and they will always be constantly struggling to achieve and be someone of social equality.
Subconsciously, the words of his grandfather prevent him from truly believing the thesis of his own speech, but he gives it anyway. Instead of being shown respect for his work, however, he is humiliated by being made to fight blind-folded against other young black men, and then being shocked by an electrified rug. He pretends not to be angered by these events, yet his true feelings escape him for a moment when, while he is reading his speech, he accidentally says "Social equality," instead of "Social responsibility." After he finishes his speech, he is awarded a new briefcase. Inside the briefcase is a scholarship to the state Negro College.
Values of the Invisible Man Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man is the story of an educated black man who has been oppressed and controlled by white men throughout his life. As the narrator, he is nameless throughout the novel as he journeys from the South, where he studies at an all-black college, to Harlem where he joins a Communist-like party known as the Brotherhood. Throughout the novel, the narrator is on a search for his true identity. Several letters are given to him by outsiders that provide him with a role: student, patient, and a member of the Brotherhood. One by one he discards these as he continues to grow closer to the sense of his true self.
In each of the two literary works, a main character undertakes a physical as well as a psychological journey. In Invisible Man, the unnamed narrator is thrust into a world of prejudice and risk. Initially he is rewarded with a scholarship for giving a modest speech about African Americans’ role in society just after being forced to humiliation in a blindfolded, intra-racial brawl for entertainment. However, the narrator finds after going to college that an overabundance of misfortune manages to inflict him. He muses that he “had kept unswervingly to the path placed before [him], had tried to be exactly what [he] was expected to be, had done exactly what [he] was expected to do – yet, instead of winning the expected reward, here [he] was stumbling along” (Ellison 167).
That is the main issue Ellison so powerfully addresses in his short story "Battle Royal". In it the author allows us to see the world through the eyes of a young black boy who is struggling to succeed in a predominantly white society. The thing that is absolutely essential to our understanding of the story is the understanding of this "rich" character. In this study I will try to analyze some of his traits (invisibility-lack of indentity , blindness) and his journey from idealism to a grim realism about the racism that confronts him in the story. All my life I had been looking for something , and everywhere I turned someone tried to tell me what it was.
Invisible Man Ralph Ellison’s novel Invisible Man observes a young unnamed narrator as he recounts his journey in discovering his own invisibility. In his struggle with existentialism, the narrator is faced with racial discrimination and the inability of others to recognize him as an individual, rather than a tool to manipulate or just another member of his race. The narrator is repeatedly manipulated and defined by society, and depends on various systems to give his life purpose. Ellison presents many themes in the novel, such as racism, existentialism, blindness and invisibility, all of which are subtly introduced in the opening chapter. Each of these themes gain definition and solid presence as the story progresses, but one seems to be more all-encompassing and prevalent than the others: Existentialism.
When he joins the college he is not aware that the likes of Mr Norton use the students as a means to an end but not the need to empower them. He is also at the center of masterminding the fall of Harlem orchestrated by the likes of Jack without realizing. For Sylbi and the white woman he sleeps with too he is not aware of the role he is playing rather he sees the relationship as to gain him something. In this novel, Ralph Ellison developed a very strong idea through the main character. The main character is struggling to search fo his identity