Invisible Man Irony

2917 Words Oct 13th, 2008 12 Pages
Irony Irony is the use of words to express something different and often opposite to its literal meaning and it is a device that plays a major role in revealing the theme of a literary work. In Inferno, written by Niven and Pournelle, the main character, Allan Carpentier, travels into the depths of hell and finally escapes when he realizes who he is. Throughout his journey, the other people in hell do not want to accept that they are there, which in turn, is the reason they cannot leave hell. Those people could not accept who they really were as individuals and therefore could not move on. In the novel Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, irony is used to express the meaning of different situations and the true feelings of characters. By using …show more content…
Barbee’s speech made him feel as if he was attached to the college, but this speech is in fact coming form a blind man. The narrator shows that he realizes Barbee’s blindness when he says, “For a swift instant, between the gesture and the opaque glitter of his glasses, I saw the blinking of sightless eyes. Homer A. Barbee was blind” (133). It is ironic that a blind man is giving the narrator hope about the college when he himself cannot see it. The narrator is letting himself be deceived because he does not see the ironies he faces at the college. Through the individuals and experiences at the college, Ellison conveys his theme of invisibility. On the bus to New York, Ellison deliberately reintroduces the vet into the novel. The vet has given the narrator useful advice about life. On the bus the vet tells the narrator, “Come out of the fog” (153). He tells the narrator to stop looking for acceptance from other people or institutions, and to find acceptance within himself. In New York the narrator truly thinks Bledsoe tries to get him a job. At the narrator’s last interview, young Emerson, a businessman, realizes the ambition that the narrator has and comments, “Ambition is a wonderful force, but sometimes it can be blinding.” (184). He tells the narrator that one’s ambition could hide the truth that persists around them. Emerson tells the narrator that he is possibly blinded by his ambition but
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