Effects Of Geographical Surrounding On The Psychological Traits Of A Character

1362 Words6 Pages
Meade 5

Catharine Kelly Meade August 3, 2015
English II Honors: American Literature Grade 10
Effects of Geographical Surrounding on the Psychological Traits of a Character Pauline Hopkins, author of Contending Forces, once said, ?And after all, our surroundings influence our lives and characters as much as fate, destiny or any supernatural agency.? This statement lends to a reoccurring theme emphasized in Ralph Ellison?s Invisible Man. The quote also states an important truth about humanity itself; the surroundings and environment in which a person grows up have a profound effect on the psychological composition of that person. Starting at the very beginning of the novel, we can clearly see that the narrator has a
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African American individuals still faced inhumane discrimination and were often not looked at as people, let alone cared for or acknowledged. To anyone else, their opinions did not matter and their lives were not valued. The 1930?s was also a time in which America was being rebuilt after the detrimental effects of the Great Depression. Furthermore, there was a greater presence of African Americans in northern states, which brought about racial tension from powerful white figures who did not want African Americans in what they believed to be ?their cities?. The struggle to find jobs was present all over, and African Americans found it even more difficult to support themselves. The narrator faced all these obstacles throughout the course of this novel. Situated in New York, especially in Harlem, the narrator of Invisible Man felt the effects of large amounts of racism and adversity. According to Alexander LaFosta, researcher of social standings in the 1930?s, racism was largely prevalent across most of America. African Americans had a very difficult time finding jobs, were forced to live in very cramped spaces, and were subjected to piteous education standards. The narrator lived in a time in which people like him were looked down upon. He was not treated respectfully, and that had a profound psychological effect on him. Consequently, his assumption that he was not entirely seen was justified because of the society he lived in. A theme largely
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