The narrator in Ralph Ellison's, Invisible Man and Janie, of Zora Neal
Hurston's, Their Eyes are Watching God are both part of a culture
which is constricted and confined by a hegemonious group. The
narrator, as an African - American and Janie as a women, try to break
the everyday constrictions they face by going through self exploration
and their identity search. They find that the understanding of their
individualness brings them empowerment and liberation, setting them
free from societies limitations.
The narrator of Ralph Ellison's, Invisible Man struggles to find a way
to release him from the bigotry that the white race puts upon him. The
narrator spends the novel following a number of ideologies hoping that
he can find acceptance and an escape from bigotry. He plays the role
of the servile black man to the white men in Chapter One; he plays the
industrious, uncomplaining disciple of Booker T. Washington during his
college years; he agrees to act as the Brotherhood's black
spokesperson, which allows the Brotherhood to use him. He finds
success is none of this. He didn't find the answer to his search until
he found the importance of his individual identity.
The narrator realizes that the only escape from societies constricts
is to find his individual desires. Once he can find these, he is no
longer a part of a black society which is being treated like sub
humans, but he can become a self defined individual who stand for
themselves. The narrator finds it necessary to literally take himself
out of society in order to escape the constrains of every day life.
The point is to stand up for oneself, and not a group. Discrimination
lies within judgmen...
... middle of paper ...
...s her money he comes back promising her that they
will share all of their experiences and opinions with each other. They
move from Jacksonville to the everglades. This is another one of
Janie's desires. is to be among the common people. She realized while
with Jody that being upper class was not for her. She grew up common
and couldn't change who she is. With Tea Cake, she finds true love as
a commoner. This sets her free from the constriction of men.
Just like Janie, the Narrator of Invisible Man finds the end of
constriction in self understanding. Though the two characters are
attempting to achieve different ending, they find their means to be
the same. To set oneself from other's constriction one must recognize
what it is they desire. With understanding one can take action.
Without this they can only help but to fall into someone else's
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