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.
One in three black males will go to prison in their lifetime. (Knafo) This should be surprising and heartbreaking. From the beginning of the new world until now, the essence of the black male in society has been so misunderstood. Black men are often seen as symbols of bad people so usually they have no choice but to do bad things or they are wrongfully convicted of doing bad things. Richard Wright was one of the first black writers to capture the true social construct of black men in his novel called Native Son.
In the beginning of the story, the narrator’s grandfather says that the only way to make racism become extinct that African Americans should be overly nice to whites. The Exhorter named Ras had different beliefs of the blacks rising up to the whites and take power from the whites. Even though these thoughts come from the black community to take the freedom from the whites, the stories reveals that the are just as dangerous as the whites being racist. The narrator has such a hard time throughout the whole story exploring his identity. While doing so, it demonstrates how so many blacks are betraying their race because the have such a hard time dealing with it.
Ralph Ellison uses several symbols to emphasize the narrator’s attempt to escape from stereotypes and his theme of racial inequalities in his novel, Invisible Man. In particular, the symbolism of the cast-iron is one that haunts the narrator throughout the book. Ellison’s character discovers a small, cast-iron bank that implies the derogatory stereotypes of a black man in society at the time. From its “wide-mouthed, red-lipped, and very black” features, to its suggestion of a black man entertaining for trivial rewards, this ignites anger in Ellison’s narrator. The cast-iron bank represents the continuous struggle with the power of stereotypes, which is a significant theme throughout the novel.1 The bank plays a significant role in the book by aiding to the author’s message of stereotypes, the narrator’s search for an individual identity, and his languished desire for equality.
Wright uses this sentence to describe bigger and the works of his mind, the power his thoughts have over him if he surrendered. Thus showing weakness and the fear of accepting who he really is. Bigger a young African American male who is part of a culture where rights are handed to certain individuals during the Great Depression. Wright starts off the novel with no interest and slowly builds thee suspense and creates the connection with the reader. The title, Native Son complements the whole novel symbolizing birth/born in the USA.
As a first-person narrator, he allows insights into his character’s thoughts and feelings as he gives his personal perspective on the actions he endures. This access creates a sense of sympathy because he is an African-American experiencing this dehumanizing struggle. This narrative method also allows him to be unapologetic about his flaws. He is constantly thinking about whom to please. Whether to comply with his grandfather’s wishes to “keep up the good fight” or to act in opposition to whites (227).
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).
We see such a behavior portrayed by The nameless narrator in ‘Invisible Man’ by Ralph Ellison published in 1952 who struggles with the self-perception of himself, like many African Americans of the 1930’s did and African Americans of the present still struggle with today. Identity and race to a greater extent both plays a monumental role in the growth of many African Americans, both underlying the issues associated with being a black man at that time and being able to identify with their ‘blackness’ and dealing with trying to possess a sense of self. The nameless narrator personifying the real invisible man, struggling to disassociate himself with his blackness, trying to running away from all that truly made him who he was. In the novel “Invisible Man” the anonymous narrator struggles with his identity throughout the whole novel, leading him to be a quite questionable character. He first begins to question his identity was the way he tried to emulate his grandfather.
The experience impacts on the race relations of social and political issues that the protagonist faced towards the white American society. His story illustrates the idea of going through the struggles to have justice in the community. Ellison describes in the battle royal scene the painful years of the protagonist living under the rules of the white supremacy that has effect on the character’s life. The invisible man illustrates the African Americans being tortured out of cruelty because their race was subjected to stereotyping and not equality. The protagonist’s journey expresses his devotion of speaking up for equality to be civilized in the modern world (Podhoretz 29).
Thoughts from the unseen One can spend an entire lifetime searching for their true identity and wrestling with the revelation of how society defines and perceives one’s true character. In the novel, Invisible Man, author Ralph Ellison portrays one man’s journey through turbulent racial tensions and the exploration of his role in society. W.E.B. Du Bois predicted that “the racial bigotry of the previous century excluded blacks from the promises of the American Dream,” Contrary to most African American activists ' struggling with hostility and segregation, Ellison focuses on the rights of the individual and addresses problems common to all humankind. Through the protagonist naive experiences with overt racism, an introduction to Black Nationalism