The Narrator in Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man Essay examples

The Narrator in Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man Essay examples

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The Narrator in Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man

The narrator in Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man views himself as
invisible because he believes the world is full of blind men who
cannot see him for who is really is. In the beginning of the story,
the narrator is treated by white men as the stereotypical black male -
sex-hungry, poor and violent. These white men are completely blind to
what black men really are. However, as the novel progresses, the
narrator finds a way to remain invisible, yet take power from those
who previously held it. Later on, we find that the invisible man
eventually develops into a man capable of fighting stereotypes and
racism in a very visible way. Through this progression, the narrator
is able to beat away racist attitudes.

In chapter one, we are introduced to the narrator and quickly we see
that he is being dominated by white confines of racism and
stereotypes. The narrator starts by reminiscing about his class speech
during his high school graduation. The speech stressed submission as
the way for black Americans to advance in the social structure. The
speech was so well received that the town arranged for him to give the
speech in front of the town's most influential white leaders. In the
narrator's eyes, the white men are rewarding his submissive nature.
But the reader is presented with the truth of what is actually going
on when he arrives to meet these men. First, the white men bring out a
naked blond woman and force the black boys to look at the women. Some
become sexually aroused - playing o...


... middle of paper ...


...ible Man. Ellison places himself in the
novel because he is showing how a proactive approach can be taken to
approach society is a complex individual. By writing this book and
tackling complex ideas of racism, he is making a proactive
contribution to society. So when the narrator begins to use the dozens
and discovers a piece of his cultural heritage, and then he sees in
the full light who he really is, he is conveying the idea to anyone
reading this book that there is more to African Americans than just
violence and slavery. He is forcing others to acknowledge him as well
as the existence of other beliefs and behaviors of blacks outside of
their prescribed stereotypes. So, we see at the conclusion of this
progression that the narrator can emerge from his cloak of
invisibility, and make a visible difference in society.

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