Blindness And Vision In Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man

1305 Words6 Pages
In this essay from Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, I will be discussing the notion of invisibility and where associable the related images of blindness and sight. Using two episodes from the beginning of the novel where the narrator is still perceptually blind to the idea that he is invisible. The first episode occurs just after the battle royal, where the narrator delivers his speech to the white people. The narrator’s speech episode is an integral part of the notion of invisibility, simply because the reader is introduced to different ideas of invisibility connected to the image of blindness. The second episode occurs in the Golden Day with the veteran mocking Norton’s interest in the narrator. This relates to the wider image of invisibility and the motif of blindness and sight. Invisibility as well as blindness is evident in both these episodes. At the beginning of the narrator’s speech episode the reader is introduced to the first notion. The narrator is given the opportunity to deliver his speech and yet “There was still laughter as [he] faced them” (Ellison [1952]2001:29). This contributes to Ellison’s idea of invisibility that white people do not see black people as individual human beings and therefore the assumption can be made that black people can be seen as invisible to white people. This also relates to the trope of blindness and sight, for white people only see what they want to see, they do not see black people for the individuals they really are.
In the
Open Document