Essay on Light and Truth in Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man

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Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man tells of one man's realizations of the world. This man, the invisible man, comes to realize through experience what the world is really like. He realizes that there is illusion and there is reality, and reality is seen through light. The Invisible Man says, "Nothing, storm or flood, must get in the way of our need for light and ever more and brighter light. The truth is the light and light is the truth" (7). Ellison uses light as a symbol for this truth, or reality of the world, along with contrasts between dark/light and black/white to help show the invisible man's evolving understanding of the concept that the people of the world need to be shown their true ways. The invisible man becomes aware of the…show more content…
Once again, Ellison alludes to society, only this time the blacks are not absorbed, but instead mixed evenly. The result is not a white culture, but a mixed, gray culture. The boss, Kimbro, becomes outraged at the mistake telling the invisible man, "you trying to sabotage the company? That stuff wouldn't work in a million years" (204). Kimbro, one of the leaders of the company, can be compared to a leader of society. He believes that the mixing of black and white, without a result of white can only lead to "sabotage." For this crime, Kimbro sends the Invisible Man to work as an assistant in a boiler room. Essentially, Kimbro has placed the Invisible Man back into darkness. With its location in the basement, the boiler room can hide one from the light, or truth, of the real world. The Invisible Man's education continues with his induction in the Brotherhood and his continuing realizations about reality. The Brotherhood makes the Invisible Man believe that he has found a true home, a place where everyone is working for the improvement of all the people, not just specifically blacks or whites. His first task involves giving a speech in Harlem to a charged crowd. He has yet to fully grasp reality, but instead is only beginning to understand the Brotherhood's reality, that of goals aimed only to the bettering of themselves. At this point, however, the invisible man believes that the Brotherhood is the
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