Improvisation Of The Invisible Man

1392 Words6 Pages
Jared Keim
Mr. Bowne
AP Language and Composition III
February 15, 2017

Improvisational Music In Invisible Man

“My only sin is in my skin, What did I do to be so black and blue?”

The protagonist, the invisible man, is stoned from marijuana as he listened to Armstrong 's rendition of "What Did I Do to Be So Black and Blue" and determined that invisibility "gives one a slightly different sense of time, you 're never quite on the beat. (Prologue.)” The invisible man respected Armstrong for making something beautiful out of invisibility. Ellison grew up with a musical background. In “Background to Invisible Man,” Harold Bloom wrote, “Especially rich was his extensive music education. Ellison entered Tuskegee Institute at nineteen intending
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The restriction that science imposed was overcame with the ability to think of the situation differently. The narrator initially embraced his invisibility, but found this action to be boring. He decided to make his own contributions to society as a multi-faceted individual to force others to acknowledge him and his contributions to society. This is seen when the narrator increased his activity within the Brotherhood as a public motivator. These two actions relate to the overall theme of the protagonist thinking of himself as outside the conventional mold because that is displayed as success consistently in the novel.

Music is open to many interpretations; some artists perform grunge, pop, jazz, etc. Although these may have different sounds, all of these genres are open to improvisation, a skill that was mastered by Louis Armstrong. “Perhaps I like Louis Armstrong because he’s made poetry out of being invisible. I think it must be because he’s unaware that he is invisible. And my own grasp of invisibility aids me to understand his music. (Prologue.)” Because the protagonist is aware of his invisibility, he is able to comprehend the world around him, while Armstrong’s unawareness of his invisibility allows him to create meaningful art. Music is not one specific note or key; Louis Armstrong’s music is blurred through the use of differing rhythmic beats and improvisation. So music, creates a world that
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