Is your life at risk and endangered if you are driving with your eyes off the road? Is it safe to walk down a dark and dangerous alley where you cannot see what is in front of you? Would it be a good idea to walk across the street without looking both ways first? The answer to all these questions are no. Why? Because in all three situations, there is a lack of vision. So, one can conclude that vision is of great importance to the visible world. Nevertheless, vision is also equally important in the invisible world. Because the most important things in our lives are invisible, vision into the invisible world is greatly needed to make life richer. The essentials to life: love, happiness, even grief and sorrow, are invisible now and forever, but vision allows us to see these and other intangible things. Vision allows us to draw the invisible world out. Unfortunately, the invisible world has always existed, except we were just too blind to see it, our visions were fogged. Likewise, the narrator from Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man is also blind. He lacks the vision he needs to realize that he is invisible to the world around him because he is naive and inexperienced. His inability to see outwardly parallels the inability to understand inwardly. However, the narrator's travel through the hero's journey is one of success. Although the narrator is invisible because he is naive, unclear of his own identity due to his fogged vision, and he assumes a series of false identities through his journey into the unknown, in the end, the narrator realizes his invisibility and begins to develop his own identity as his vision clarifies.
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...when we fear or do not even know what our true self is. Hopefully, all of us will travel as successfully as the invisible man in our journey, and acquire this precious gift of vision, vision into both the visible and invisible world.
Bishop, Jack. Ralph Ellison. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1988.
Earl, Gerald. "Decoding Ralph Ellison" Essay obtained from IGC.org Summer '97. November 2002. <http://www.igc.org/dissent/archive/summer97/early.html
Ellison Ralph. Invisible Man. New York: The Modern Library, 1994.
Howe, Irving. "Review of: Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man" Pub. The Nation. 10 May 1952. 30 November 1999. <http://www.english.upenn.edu/~afilreis/50s/howe-on-ellison.html.
O'Meally, Robert, ed. New Essays on Invisible Man. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988.
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