Invisible Man Ralph Ellison Identity Analysis

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Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison follows the story of a young, educated black man struggling to survive and be successful in a racially divided society that refuses to see him as a human being. This story focuses on this nameless narrator and his journeys that lead to finding his identity. In chapters 1 through 8, many controversial events occur. In these chapters, the narrator has to give speeches to white people, fight in a battle royal just to get a scholarship, get betrayed by white and black folks, and carry with all the pain in his heart when he thinks about how he used to feel ashamed of his ancestors for being slaves. All of these events eventually help the narrator to develop his true identity and makes him realize that he is invisible.…show more content…
When there is a conversation between the narrator and an ex-doctor in chapter 7 of Invisible Man, the ex-doctor says that the narrator should “be his own father,” and to “remember that the world is possibility if only it is discovered,” but also to “leave the Mr. Nortons alone,” (156) in the process. In the story, Mr. Norton betrays the narrator by eventually getting him kicked out of college even though Mr. Norton promised him not to do such thing. So, when allegory is used with Mr. Norton, he, in this case, represents white people and the idea how they betray people of color. This quote suggests that for this reason all “Mr. Nortons” should be left alone so that they don’t end up betraying black people and confuse them about their identities in the aftermath of events. With this strategy, Ellison is effectively communicating his claim to his intended audience and making them feel aware and angry at the situation that is

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