The Importance Of Racism In Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man

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The inability to identify one’s self worth and overall placing in society can create a constant struggle internally; leaving someone in a consistent battle towards finding their own self-satisfaction. The history behind African American slavery and segregation reflects a mindset, which historically left almost every African American questioning who they are and what they represent. A negative outlook of this degree created generations of anger, frustration, and confusion that affected a culture both internally and externally. The protagonist in this novel fights these conflicts furiously; while trying to erase a burden that was placed on him just because of a skin tone. In the novel Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, the author depicts the struggles…show more content…
In the article In Search Of Manhood: The Black Male’s Struggle For Identity and Power, author Aza Nedhari explains “The peculiar institution of chattel slavery was meant to be a permanent condition for Black males; a condition that would lay the historical framework for structural and institutional racism that resulted in a conflicted formation of identity within Black males leading to perpetual servitude”. Through anytime of extreme change in lifestyle or perspective, there is an adjustment period that takes a significant amount of time to conquer. The entire African American community faced this exact affair when the slavery era came to an end within the United States. Even as this happened, segregation was still an issue that hung over the African American communities’ head; limiting their ability to move on from their nightmare like history. Not being able to abandon this mindset of being below White America, kept African Americans in this box that did not allow them to flourish. Black people still could not find an identity or source of pride as they were constantly described as inferior compared to Whites. Escaping or moving past history is impossible when the people involved in it are reminded of the tragedies and hardships each day. These hardships are symbolized through the Invisible Man as the protagonist works to move past the internal and external struggles he faces due to his heritage. The mindset of the Invisible Man that infuriates readers, is the effect of White America’s attempt to hold down Black people and not allow them to form their own identity and path. The same frustration that resides there, symbolizes the internal frustration the protagonist constantly faces. Generations of mistreatment created this mental locke, which generated numerous struggles for the protagonist and

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