Invisible Man Downfall

1605 Words7 Pages
The character Invisible Man serves as an ideal pawn to explore societal control in America. He is astute, articulate and ambitious and begins the novel with the naïve belief that he can control his destiny through hard work and humility. He is a talented orator and gets an opportunity to speak to a group of important white men at an event. At this event before his speech, he is made to participate in the Battle Royal which is a preplanned battle between other young black men who fight blindfolded in a ring. Invisible Man worries that the battle might “detract from the dignity of the speech” (18) but complies with it and even feels a sense of superiority over the other young men. As the brutal chaos ensues, Invisible Man is still concerned about…show more content…
The first is Dr. Bledsoe who is incredulous about Invisible Man’s naïvetés to society and states, “But you don’t even know the difference between the way things are and the way they’re supposed to be.”(142) Likewise, the Vet whom Invisible Man meets at the Golden Day bar tries to disillusion Invisible Man to the reality of the world when he states “He registers with his senses but short-circuits his brain. Nothing has meaning. He takes it all in but does not digest it” (94). Ellison uses Invisible Man as a token to expose that the American Dream is a societal construct used to inspire people to believe blindly in the system that dooms them to fail. This literally and figurative blinds the characters in the book to the contradiction of the American Dream which makes it invalid. As Invisible Man painfully learns, the American Dream is like a dream or a childhood fairytale that does not truly depict how American society works. American society in Invisible Man is depicted as a contradictory society whose leader is an unknown, yet powerful puppet master who holds everyone by the strings. Even despite American citizens’ best efforts, like Invisible Man’s attempts at upward mobility, they are controlled by a master who uses everyone for some secret and ironic purpose. The blindness Ellison symbolizes in Invisible Man is the American blindness to this
Get Access