Discrimination Against African American Literature

1769 WordsApr 25, 20178 Pages
Robert Hinsberger Honors American Studies English Mrs. Ravenscraft April 17, 2017 Discrimination against African Americans in The Invisible Man In the 1950s African Americans were treated unfairly and discriminated against. During the post civil war time tensions were still high, the discrimination and separation between the blacks and whites was still prevalent. Discrimination is portrayed through Jim Crow laws, which affected every African American tremendously, the narrator’s experience at the Battle Royal, and the narrator 's transition from the black college to New York and The Brotherhood. In the Invisible Man, Ellison utilizes characterization to represent the division between whites and blacks in America in the 1950s. Ralph…show more content…
Before the fighting “the white women were presented as the ‘forbidden fruit.’ The Battle Royal incident showed the white women being paraded before the black boys as something to look at, to admire, and to desire, but not to touch” (Sistrunk-Krakue 1). Sistrunk-Krakue describes the white women in the novel as royalty, like prized possessions, as if this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to see these women. These women are presented as dreams because the description includes admiration, desire, but something they can 't actually attain. The white women show division of social classes because they looked around with their “impersonal eyes” (Ellison 19). The eyes give away the fact that the women don 't even acknowledge anyone around them, they are just doing what they 're order to do by the wealthy white men. Sistrunk-Krakue’s idea of dreaminess and royalty of the white women places them on an entirely different social platform, one that would be an impossible feat for a black boy. This judgment of the white women further explains the disrespect that blacks receive in society and how they 're judged in most every facet of life. Within Invisible Man, judgment of races is a commonplace in society, Ellison exemplifies this point by starting the novel with a presentation of judgment between races. The town’s privileged white men invite the narrator to give his prestigious speech at their
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