The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison Essay

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The novel Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison depicts the journey of a young African American man finding his way in the world during the Harlem Renaissance. The unnamed protagonist encounters many obstacles, such as the varying ideas of others, that skew his view of how things are supposed to be in the world. As the protagonist attempts to find the truth about his identity, his naivete causes him to become thrown off as he is confronted by new ideas that he does not fully understand. This process causes him much turmoil as he constantly turns to others to provide the guidance that only he can give himself. Throughout the novel the protagonist struggles to find his own identity as he wholeheartedly adopts the ideas of others, Ellison utilizes …show more content…
The novel Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison depicts the journey of a young African American man finding his way in the world during the Harlem Renaissance. The unnamed protagonist encounters many obstacles, such as the varying ideas of others, that skew his view of how things are supposed to be in the world. As the protagonist attempts to find the truth about his identity, his naivete causes him to become thrown off as he is confronted by new ideas that he does not fully understand. This process causes him much turmoil as he constantly turns to others to provide the guidance that only he can give himself. Throughout the novel the protagonist struggles to find his own identity as he wholeheartedly adopts the ideas of others, Ellison utilizes the invisible man’s journey to stress the importance of having and the downfalls of looking to others for one’s own identity. Ellison uses the protagonist’s naivete to illustrate the limitations of seeking guidance from others to find one’s identity. While being forced to compete in the Battle Royal for the enjoyment of white men, the narrator feels, “that only these men could judge truly [his] ability”(25). During the protagonist’s high school career he constantly turned to the white authority for validation of what he could do; since he believes that the white men hold all the answers he is not able to judge his own work and must turn to the whites to tell him how good he is. Due to the protagonist’s naivete, he fails to realize that he