The Invisible Man By Ralph Emerson Essay

The Invisible Man By Ralph Emerson Essay

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Vision is a term that has various definitions that can be used to describe the word in numerous different circumstances. In the Invisible Man, Ralph Emerson uses the definition meaning to uses the senses to see physical objects as well as things that are not present but that are perceived with experiences. Throughout the Invisible Man, the narrator illustrates with words his journey towards accepting who he really is and how he came to the conclusion that he is not the man he believed himself to be. In his hero’s journey, the narrator experiences numerous eye-opening emotions and struggles which help shape him into the man he ends up seeing himself as by the novel’s conclusion. The most recurring theme in the novel is the motif of vision, which is exemplified at various different places and scenes. The narrator is aware that people are blinded by racism, the desire to achieve the American Dream, having control over people, and the longing for power. It is clear at the beginning of the novel that the narrator is blind because he does not know who he is. Through the hero’s journey, the narrator goes from a state of departure, to initiation, to the return in which he attains clear vision of himself and the world.
The narrator experiences the desire for the American Dream in the Battle Royal. He goes to the hotel to give a speech but is told that he cannot give the speech unless he goes through the rite of passage known as the Battle Royal. During this humiliating initiation, a naked woman appears and is given as a symbol of what the men want. She also symbolizes the American Dream with her American flag tattoo and red, white, and blue makeup. The narrator states, “Some threatened us if we looked and others if we did not” (20). This ...


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The Invisible Man starts his journey at a place that is familiar to him, with the mindset that he thinks he knows who he is. He then travels to a place more unfamiliar to him where he begins to see the truth through a series of trials, challenges, and temptations. He finally settles down at a place that although is not familiar to him, can be called home. This is where he finds out who he truly is; a man who has responsibilities to the outside world as being the invisible man, with his own personal obligations to society. Although the narrator ends the story without a proper home or secure future, he has found his place in society. He is no longer the invisible man who no one pays attention to because of his dark skin color; he is an individual who is important to the functions of society as a whole. The narrator’s journey has been, indeed, successful.

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