Essay on Racism in Invisible Man

838 Words4 Pages
Racism is perceived as a very negative aspect of society. When most people think of racism, they see hatred, evil, and ignorance. It has always been around since history has been recorded, and probably before that. There are many different forms of racism, but when one thinks of racism in America, they most certainly think of the struggles that the African-Americans have faced for hundreds of years. American literature has been noted for its sometimes controversial, but outspokenness of issues faced by people and minorities. Ralph Ellison is considered one of these authors after his novel Invisible Man. It was published in 1953, before the Civil Rights Movement really got strong. Ellison confronts the various forms of racism in this novel.…show more content…
The man says something that the narrator does not like and tries to force an apology out of the man. This is what initiates the first part of racism and the thought of being invisible in the novel. The narrator endures the different types of racism through the different places he visits. Everyone expects something different of him and other African-Americans. This is how he tries finding his inner self and it just confuses him more because everyone wants something different. Another example of this is when the narrator is working for Liberty Paints in New York. The work force is primarily blacks, but the final product is white. This is ironic because their slogan is “If it’s Optic White, it’s the Right White.” There is also a sign outside of the building that reads “Keep America pure with Liberty Paints.” This is a form of racism in itself because they only produce white paint, and they say that they are keeping America pure. ”Our white is so white you can paint a chunka coal and you’d have to crack it open with a sledge hammer to prove it wasn’t white clear through” (Ellison 217). This is said by Lucius Brockway, an engineer at Liberty Paints. This can be seen as an extended metaphor between the paint making process that requires a black chemical to be added, and the whites vs. blacks at the company itself. The company seems to have primarily black workers producing the paint, but this quote goes to show that white is overpowering and that
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