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The Struggle For Identity

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The Struggles for Identity Throughout world society, racism in others has caused them to become “blind” or ignorant. Racism has been around since anyone can remember. In racism in America, the struggle of African Americans seems to stand out the most. In Ralph Ellison’s, The Invisible Man, the narrator struggles to find his own identity despite of what he accomplishes throughout the book because he’s a black man living in a racist American society. In the beginning of the Invisible Man, the narrator is apart of this battle royal with other young African Americans youths. This royal occurs strictly for entertain of the white people. The narrator is then blindfolded and forced to box one another. An electric current runs through the floor and shocks them. The electricity represents the shocking truth of the white men's motives, to try to conform the young African American boys to the racial stereotype of blacks being violent and savage. The electric current sends the boys into contortions, which is the first instance where the marionette with strings metaphor is being shown in the book. Even though the narrator’s speech is the reason why he thinks he is at the event, the battle royal becomes the true entertainment for why the white folk who are watching. The narrator ends up working at a Paint Factory called Liberty Paints. This company makes the white paint. There is a long process where the white depends heavily on black, both in mixing the paint and the workforce of the factory. During his first day, he is injured due to an explosion. He then receives shock therapy. There are certain wires that are attached to him like "strings" of the marionette that makes the narrator dances whenever he is shocked. The do... ... middle of paper ... ...d in. This society is depicted by how the white society sees him during the novel. The stereotypes and expectations of a racist society compel blacks to behave only in certain ways, never allowing them to act according to their own will. The actions of Brotherhood, who are seeking equality, are being manipulated like they are puppets on strings. He is always going to a black man behind a white society, just like the painting process at Liberty Paints: Black under White. Throughout the novel the narrator encounters this struggle for identity for society and although he strives to achieve it, his figures out that it is impossible. Works Cited Ellison, Ralph. Invisible Man. New York: Vintage International, 1995. Print. Meyer, Michael. The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature. Eight. Boston: Bedford, 2009. 1542. Print.
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