Ralph Ellison Invisible Man

918 Words2 Pages

In the prologue of Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison, he sets the tone and main idea of the writing in the very beginning by saying “I am an invisible man… simply because people refuse to see me.” Shortly after this excerpt, he goes on to say that it is not just because of the natural born color of his skin, but instead the cause of the eyes from the people who look at him along with their “inner eyes” and their perceived reality. Most people perceived him as a stereotype person due to his born state, and he hates that people will never be able to see through this into his true self. He says that while it is not always bad and can have advantages, he still feels resentment and anger that comes from the gradual buildup of being invisible. His …show more content…

However, he quickly realizes that if he wants to deliver his speech he must prove himself in this battle royal. Before the battle starts, each participant is blind folded, possibly symbolizing being blinded by whites. As the battle takes place, the narrator struggles but remains in and eventually is one of the last two competitors in which he eventually loses. After the fight the contestants are gathered around a rug of gold coins and money that unknown to them is electrified for the viewers own entertainment. The narrator is eventually allowed to deliver his speech which is made up of quotes from Booker T. Washington, someone the narrator’s aspires to be but his views are opposite of what his grandfather came to realize on his deathbed. Booker T. Washington believed that through education of blacks and by complying with whites that equality could be reached, but later it is learned that this idea has limitations to true equality. One part of the narrator’s speech has him saying the phrase “social responsibility” that is not heard or understood by some and ask him to repeat it. As he repeats it for a final time he says “social equality” and quickly angers the whites listening, showing that despite his praise from whites for his speech, if he truly questions the supremacy of whites he will be met with anger until he returns to being a “model black citizen.” The

Open Document