Odyssey In Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man

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When one examines Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, immediately one notices the duality of being black in society. Ellison uses the narrator to highlight his invisibility in society, although African-Americans have brought forth so many advances. This statement best represents the novel as the narrator examines his location (geography), his social identity, historical legacies of America, and the ontological starting point for African-Americans. The “odyssey” that the narrators partakes in reflects the same journey that many African-Americans have been drug through for generations. This statement takes on a literal and abstract meaning of odyssey. The Invisible Man’s literal odyssey is observed geographically throughout the novel. The novel opens with the narrator in the South, then he goes to college, and then moves to New York City. The narrator received “a …show more content…

When the narrator was in Harlem, the narrator garners a better articulation of himself. The Brotherhood, which is a fictional version of many civil rights groups that sought to achieve social and economic equality, held many acts and speeches. The narrator was at one point the leader of the Harlem division, which shows a similarity to Nation of Islam. The narrator was peaceful, like Martin Luther King, but his competing ally, Ras the Destroyer was more aggressive, like Malcolm X. He believed that they had to “fight for the liberty of the black people” (Ellison 375) and that the power must be placed back into the hand of black folk in order for them to form their own identity. Ras evened envisioned the identity when he highlights “black intelligence” (Ellison 375). His movement spread to many communities in Harlem, and the black youth were consumed by it. Essentially, the answer to this state of inertia, the confusion of black America by a discontinuous history, was to find roots back to their land base –

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