Essay about Analysis of Invisible Man

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Ralph Ellison wrote the book Invisible Man in the summer of 1945, while on sick leave from the Merchant Marines. Invisible Man is narrated in the first person by an unnamed African American who sees himself as invisible to society. This character is perceived and may be inspired by Ellison himself. Ellison manages to develop a strong philosophy through this character and portrays his struggle to search for his identity. He uses metaphors throughout the book of his invisibility and the blindness of others in which is a part of the examination of the effects of racism. The development of this unnamed “Afro-American” character helps set the foundation on the philosophy of understanding who he is. The narrator undergoes experiences such as the…show more content…
He conceals himself in this room and considers himself an Invisible Man because of the unwillingness of people noticing him. “I am invisible; understand, simply because people refuse to see me” (Ellison, Pg 3, Par 1). He relates his invisibility to that of a dream, as if sleepwalkers just bump him without even seeing him. He claims that he is not complaining nor protesting it, though it can be to his advantage. “You ache with the need to convince yourself that you do exist in the real world, that you’re a part of all the sound and anguish, and you strike out with your fists, you curse and you swear to make them recognize you” (Ellison, Pg 3-4, Par 2). The narrator’s main struggle through this book is continuously about how he perceives himself and how others perceive him. The incident with the blond man on the street, where the man directed a derogatory insult towards our narrator, attacks him and nearly kills him, is later laughing at the irony of the conflict. He then sees the article in the newspaper, which they call it a mugging. He continues to perceive himself as invisible which can be a metaphor for racism. Ellison uses his Jazz background as a complement to the “Invisible Man” as the narrator is in pursuit of finding himself. He specifically recalls Louis Armstrong as he listens to his records at the top volume of the phonograph. He explains that he likes Louis Armstrong

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