Revelations Of The Fictional Characters Of Ralph Ellison 's Invisible Man

1402 Words6 Pages
Drew Wiseman
Mrs. McElroy
AP English 12
September 3, 2012
Revelations of the Protagonist
In Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, the main character goes through a spiritual realization just as Meursault does in Albert Camus’ The Stranger. In the Invisible Man, Dr. Bledsoe leads the protagonist astray to the fabled Harlem of New York City. Once the narrator arrives in Harlem, it becomes apparent that he was sent to Harlem as a punishment and has been permanently expelled from black college. The narrator finds himself struggling to understand the role he must play in society as a black man. As the novel progresses, the brotherhood the narrator joined, who on the surface seemed to battle for the equality of races, is in fact a symbol for racism. The narrator’s naïve understanding of social classes handicaps him during the time he spends in Harlem. His inability to understand himself hinders his decisions and judgment. This novel is Ellison’s satire of how easy it is to become “invisible” in places with social boundaries and racism. The narrator comes to the realization that whites will view him only how they know how to view blacks, as different or inferior. Ellison is also stating how societal expectations can have the same effect as racism. Where as a certain person who struggles to find an inward sense of self, simply acts stereotypically. These boundaries limit the narrator’s individuality and cause him to question himself. However, in Camus’ The Stranger Meursault’s struggle is

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