Society can make someone feel invisible. Some citizens choose to remain out of the forefront, but some are forced into obscurity. Some may be dismissed because of the way others act, dress, and talk. Society 's ignoring of its own citizens get more serious than that and it goes to the skin color. This is the experience of the unnamed protagonist in Ralph Ellison 's symbolic novel Invisible Man. In Invisible Man, the protagonist 's experience as an African American during the 1930s demonstrates the invisibility of blacks during racism.
To the protagonist he pictures whites as sleepwalkers. Thinking they can’t see him because they are still asleep. To him it seems like they are just still asleep living in their imaginary world where blacks are not seen. Know not to interrupt them “... walk softly so as not to awaken them; there are few things in the world as dangerous as sleepwalkers” (Ellison 4). This shows that he is a bit scared because during this time period whites were seen as the superior race.
One day the protagonist walks in the dark streets of his city and accidently bumps into a white male. The man didn’t seem to happy for being bumped into, but how can one see another if they are invisible. A little street light lighted on them “...perhaps because of near darkness he saw me and called me an insulting name” (Ellison 4). In a dark night not much can be seen.
In practically plain darkness the white male calls him a bad name due to the protagonist skin color. The protagonist thought of apologizing to him for accidentally bumping into him is gone due to the rude language. Enraged the protagonist pushed him onto the floor in a angry matter “I sprang at him seized his coat lapels an...
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...lly starts talking about social responsibility and by doing so his voice gets softer again. They tell him to repeat what he has just said "What 's that word you say, boy?", "Social responsibility," I said., "What?" "Social...", "Louder." (Ellison 24).
As he keeps repeating social responsibility again and again, he accidently says "Social equality". Therefore angering the whites, "Say that slowly, son!", "What sir", "What you just said", "Social responsibility, sir," I said., "You weren 't being smart, were you, boy?" he said, not unkindly., "No sir!", "You sure that about 'equality ' was a mistake?, "Oh, yes, sir," I said. "I was swallowing blood." (Ellison 25). This shows the "Separate but Equal" by him expressing his feelings and emotions that everyone should be equal. He says this in his heart, but accidently slips it out causing the white people to become angry.
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