Ralph Ellison's Ordinary Man Analysis

3390 Words14 Pages

Amrutha T V
Guest Faculty
Sreekrishna College, Guruvayur

ABSTRACT: African-American writers of fiction have always been pre occupied with racial themes and cultural legacies. This is due to their history of enslavement and colonization. The variety of races thrown together has created a melting-pot and the writers often tend to focus on racial prejudice and colour hierarchies. They have been subject to some of the worst fonts of physical, political, social and educational deprivation. It is comparable to the Dalit and tribal situation in India. Many African-American writers are tend to examine the link between race and politics. The experiences of deprivation are often manifested in their
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Ellison exploits all the cultural symbols from the African-American history, folklore, rhetoric and music to affirm and uphold the dignity and identity of the African-Americans. He devotes himself to identify and preserve the diversity in American experience which is essential to the Blacks as they have their own stream of culture flowing with the influence of the mainstream American culture. For African-Americans, novel is a subaltern narrative and the narrative is a symbol of their identity. American experience offers the possibility of contributing not only to the growth of literature but to the shaping of the culture also. The American novel, in this sense, is a conquest of the frontier, as it describes our experience and creates it. Invisible Man epitomizes the essence of being an African-American by recreating his cultural image aesthetically and contributing to the creative development of both the African-American culture and the American novel. It is a unique representation of cultural politics practised in America. Ellison’s Invisible Man gives the most comprehensive treatment of Black predicament in twentieth century fiction. Invisibility is the absence of social reality felt by the Blacks, whose colour prevents them from being seen by others as individuals. The novel depicts the heartlessness that vitiates social reality as something neither White nor Black, but purely American. He makes the Negro an Invisible Man, a Black American
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