Racism And Segregation In Invisible Man

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1930s America was filled with racism and segregation. Whites believed that they were superior to every other race; especially african americans. The novel Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison focuses on racism and segregation in 1930s America. Ralph Ellison uses symbolism to portray the way that white Americans viewed black people. White America looked to black people as a form of entertainment. For example they created something called a Sambo Doll. The narrator describes the doll as “ a grinning doll of orange and black tissue paper with thin flat cardboard disks forming it;s head and feet” (chapter 20 page 431). In Invisible Man Clifton is attempting to sell the doll to consumers. “For he’s Sambo, the dancing, Sambo, the prancing, Sambo, the entrancing, Sambo Boogie Woogie paper doll. And all for 25 cents.... Ladies and gentlemen, he’ll bring you joy” (chapter 20 page 431). The narrator later realizes that the doll is being controlled by a thin string.This doll resembles the way that whites control or believe they can control blacks. Clifton (the white man) is forcing the doll (black man) to dance and perform acts that are looked to as entertainment, the same way they have shown to do throughout history. The white population sees black people as the stereotypical negroes with coal black skin and thick lips. While staying with Mary, the narrator finds…show more content…
Each item represents the struggle that black people have had to go through and are still going through. Some whites still believe that blacks are uneducated, wild animals like they did during the 30s. People are still carrying around the mental and physical struggle that our ancestors went through on a daily basis. Ralph Ellison explains that prejudice would always occur, but the most important thing is to know where we come from and embrace our culture. As long as we have an identity we will never be
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