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Invisibility In Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man

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The idea of invisibility is popularly viewed through fiction as examples as a supernatural power, floating cloaks, and magic potions. However, invisibility can have a real impact on people’s mentality, such as on the unnamed narrator in Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man. The narrator is the “invisible man” of the title and a black man who is living in 1930s America filled with troubling race relations. He feels as the factor of invisibility because of other people’s prejudices and perceptions, which leads to his realization of finding his true identity. Yet, he is unable to overcome his blindness on himself, he falls into the path of other characters’ identities and beliefs on solutions to society’s issues. In addition, there are signs of imagery throughout the novel that invokes vision that reinforces the continuous idea of invisibility. Even though the idea of invisibility is thoroughly sustained, it fades away as the narrator realizes that he needs to find his own individuality and beliefs to benefit himself and society. The narrator bases his invisibility on people’s blind physical perception of his human existence. As a black man trying to find his identity in white America, he has the foundational belief of the recognition by white people to prove…show more content…
He begins from questions of complication and intertwinement in other’s identities to answers of understanding and acceptance of who he is culturally and personally. Even if that he is invisible, he knows he still needs upholds his responsibility in society: “Perhaps that’s my greatest social crime, I’ve overstayed my hibernation since there’s a possibility that even an invisible man has a socially responsible role to play” (581). All of his experiences lead to a universal, underlying main idea that to find out who we are as individuals will enable us to move
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