Ellison uses Invisible man to highlight the racism and Prejudice within society; despite the narrator’s lack of reliability, these themes are still conveyed effectively. Not only does our narrator detail the differences between black and white people, but also northern and southern people so that even the southern white man could read this book and relate to the feeling. All of his delusions, and outbursts add to the societal situation that Ellison wanted depicted in his work. The subtle racism that threatens to be brushed aside is deafening as I.M. rages on about Tobbit defending himself by being “...married to a fine, intelligent Negro girl” (468).
Alden Nowlan’s “The Invisible Boy” can be examined through psychoanalytical criticism by evaluating the characters’ principles. Nowlan introduces his first character, the invisible boy, who can be observed as the anima. He shows feminine characteristics because his sister takes care of him whereas in the typical brother and sister relationship it is usually the brother who takes care of the sister. His sister is the only person who can see him so he it is mandatory for him to rely on her. All the people in the town consider him godly due to the fact that he is invisible.
In Ralph Ellison’s novel Invisible Man, he explains how powerful exile plays an important role in the narrator’s journey to finding out who he really is. According to Edward Said “Exile is… a rift forced between a human being and a native place,…its essential sadness can never be surmounted…a potent, even enriching” .The narrator’s journey to finding who he is, was alienating and enriching. The narrator’s journey to alienation and enrichment began in chapter six of Ralph Ellison’s novel Invisible Man. The narrator was expelled from his college by Dr.Bledsoe, the college’s president. He was expelled by Dr.Bledsoe because he took one of the college’s trustees, Mr. Norton, to “the Quarters” and “Golden Day” (Ellison 137).
Invisible Man, a novel written by Ralph Ellison, chronicles the journey of a young black man on his journey to self- actualization during the post- reconstruction era from a southern college to Harlem, New York. Invisible Man is influenced by difficult racial tensions and the deceitful actions that these tensions create. In the beginning of the book, the Invisible Man lets those around him who hold influential positions in society influence him strongly and make decisions for him; however, Invisible Man eventually realizes the people that he admires, such as Dr. Bledsoe and Brother Jack, don 't always have his best interests in mind. Throughout the book, Ellison demonstrates the suffocating control fueled by racial prejudice that affects
Sambo “But he knew that only in the Brotherhood could we make ourselves known, could we avoid being empty Sambo dolls” (Ellison 427). The narrator leaves the headquarters of the Brotherhood and finds Tod Clifton playing with Sambo dolls out in the street. He feels disgusted by it and is sickened even more when Clifton starts singing a jingle and makes the doll dance. While singing, Clifton spots a police officer coming towards him, so he starts sweeping his dolls, and prepares to run away from the police. The narrator felt disgusted because the Sambo dolls represent the black stereotype of servitude towards the white race.
Numerous literary devices such as the theme of invisibility, the dog as a symbol, and blinds to represent a motif are important to the literary structure of the novel. In The Invisible Man, Griffin discovers the invisibility because of a science discovery that accidentally happened. Invisibility comes a long way for Griffin. Later on in the novel, he uses invisibility to establish a reign of terror, instead of being used for a good cause. In Alternate Worlds: The Illustrated History of Science Fiction, science fiction scholar James Gunn points out that Griffin used invisibility for his own self gain instead of the benefit of society (Gunn 22).
Invisible Man is the story of an educated black man that has been controlled by the white power structure, which is defined by the overarching level of power from the white man to the black man, throughout his life. The main character is nameless until the novel ends, which gives the novel a very sketchy and dehumanizing tone. Throughout the novel the narrator realizes that he isn’t seen by others as he sees himself which makes him “invisible.” Ellison uses brother Jack’s eye and sambo dolls to define the invisibility of the narrator, the stereotypes against the average black man, and realization that all things are not what they seem to be. Brother Jack unknowingly admits that he has deceived the narrator when his glass eye falls out of his eye socket. Sight and blindness are shown throughout the novel as very important symbols.
Bledsoe is a character that is constantly fighting for power, and struggling to hold onto it once he has it. He tricks people, manipulates everyone he knows, and threatens people to get his way. His power struggle is one of the ways Ellison reveals the meaning of Invisible Man as a whole: to see is to win. Bledsoe can be described as a master of masks because he knows precisely how to manipulate and fool people into seeing the version of him that they want to see. The pretends to play into the “good slave” stereotype when he is around the white trustees, being the kind, respectful, and obedient black man they want to see.
Symbolism was the number one literary element that expressed the issue of inequality. Throughout the story, each character had an emblem to represent who the character was or what were they like. The most important emblem was the emblem of the main character, the Invisible Man. The Invisible Man, or IM for short, was the narrator of the story. He was a black man just recently stepping into college education.
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.