Literary Symbols In Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man

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Within Ralph Ellison’s novel Invisible Man, he uses many literary devices - most prominently symbolism. He includes the descriptions of objects to help his audience grow a better understanding of the things that the invisible man (IM) goes through, and to create a sort of pathway to connect with him. Some of the more significant objects that he use are: Mary Rambo’s racist (broken) coin bank, the idea of IM identifying as Brer Rabbit, as well as IM’s briefcase which he brought along with him everywhere throughout the book. Upon IM finding Mary’s racist coin bank and having broken it out of pure hatred and rage. Ralph Ellison - who is rather descriptive with how the invisible man sees the bank - writes “the cast-iron figure of a very black,…show more content…
The use of tricksters have always been relevant and present in African American Literature as a form of freedom. Ellison used Brer Rabbit to represent the lose of fear towards those that were considered on a higher position or leaders over him. After waking up in the factory hospital after the accident during a fight with Brockway, IM realized “I was no longer afraid. Not of important men, not of trustees and such; for knowing now that there was nothing which I could expect from them, there was no reason to be afraid” (249). IM continuously refused to admit to himself that this newly discovered identity was true, as he thought it would greatly displease those around him. Although it greatly pleased him that he had the ability to be so friendly, and it lead him to feel overjoyed with the abilities and desire that this self-discovery led to. “I laughed, deep, deep inside me, giddy with the delight of self-discovery and the desire to hide it… I could not bring myself to admit it, it was too ridiculous” (241,242). He wanted the ability to remain strictly within himself, so that he was filled with the freedom and him alone - as well as the fact that others may ridicule him, especially the whites, and his lack of fear towards the higher
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