Blindness And Metaphors In Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man

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In the novel Invisible Man, the writer Ralph Ellison uses metaphors, point of view, and symbolism to support his message of identity and culture. Throughout the story, the narrator’s identity is something that he struggles to find out for himself. Themes of blindness and metaphors for racism help convey the struggle this character faces, and how it can be reflected throughout the world.

One theme illustrated in the novel is the metaphor for blindness. Ellison insinuates that both the white and black men are blind, because they do not truly know each other. The white man cannot grasp the racial struggle black men are put through, and the black man cannot grasp the oppression the white men are forcing upon them. The two sides are blind when it comes to the others’ motive and reasoning. In the prologue, the narrator refers to a mugging victim as a “Poor fool, poor blind fool..” (5). Although he was referencing a specific person, it can be inferred that Ellison was introducing the metaphor for blindness early on in the storyline. Every character is blinded to an area that is unfamiliar to him or her, just as we are blinded to things in the real world. Ellison uses this metaphor throughout the book because it is something readers can connect to their own lives. On page seven, it states that “The truth is the light and the light is the truth.” We can never really be fully aware of the truths of the world until we …show more content…

Ralph Ellison conveys this message in many forms in the novel. It is possible that the eyes of the narrator did not see the world for what it truly is, but his credibility for telling the story only ties into the metaphor for blindness. This prompts a final thought; can an individual truly understand the struggle of another? Can our identity bar us from opening our eyes to the struggles that may be around

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