Ralph Ellison 's Invisible Man

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The recent surge of diversity—from the Chilly Nut M&Ms to globalization—has made many yearn for the past, when things were more “normal” and less diverse. Understanding the destructive nature of this human tendency, Ralph Ellison, through the experiences of his narrator and through the use of rhetorical devices, weaves his argument against conformity and for diversity in his critically acclaimed work, Invisible Man. He asserts that man must retain his own sense of individuality and embrace the differences of others, as conforming to a certain self-made ideology only exacerbates his desire for self-preservation, a detriment to the progress of humanity.
Conformity forces man to gain power for survival. As a result, he becomes more self-centered. In Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, Doctor Bledsoe, the egotistic college director, declares in his conversation with the narrator that as Negroes, they must behave in a way that fits in with societal standards, thereby acquiring manipulative power. He declares, “‘I had to be strong and purposeful to get where I am. I had to wait and plan and lick around… Yes, I had to act the nigger!’,” asserting that he attained his “powerful” position only because he conformed to self-perceived standards of the white trustees and falsified his subservience (Ellison 143). Hence, he had to care more about himself in order to get what he thought was power. Similarly, Eric Reed, in A Futile Struggle? Power and Conformity in High School and the Society at
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