Literary Devices Used In Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man

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Ralph Waldo Ellison was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on March 1, 1914. He was an American novelist, literary critic, scholar, and writer. Ralph Ellison is best known for his novel Invisible Man, which won the National Book Award in 1953.This research paper will thoroughly analyze the many literary devices found in Invisible Man to inform a general college student audience on the importance of this novel. Invisible Man is a novel about a young black man who is battling racism as an obstacle to individual identity, and his psychological journey, "from Purpose to Passion to Perception". This novel is told in a first-person narrative by an unnamed narrator, who reveals himself as the Invisible man in the very first sentence of the novel. My…show more content…
I believe Liberty Paint is one of the most important symbolisms in this novel because in order to create this famous pure white it must be mixed with ten black drops of toner. The narrator is first told, “Now measure ten drops into the paint…There, that's it, not too goddam fast. Now. You want no more than ten, and no less.” Then Ellison describes the narrator following those instructions as, “Slowly, I measured the glistening black drops, seeing them settle upon the surface and become blacker still, spreading suddenly out to the edges.” I believe that this paint company is a symbol of the necessity of the black influence to white America. Many people in Invisible Man think America is a white man's country, but America would not be America without the contributions and influence of black people. More important symbolisms are the coin bank and Tod Clifton’s dancing Sambo doll, although they are in separate chapters they have very similar meanings in the novel, they each represent degrading black stereotypes and the damaging power of prejudice. The coin bank looks like a grinning slave who eats coins, and symbolizes the idea of the good slave who grovels over white men for petty rewards. This symbol follows the narrator throughout the novel. Additionally,
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