The Black Struggle Of Mental Illness In Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man

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We all have felt worthless at one time or another as if we just faded into ethereal would have no affect on anyone. But what about being so undervalued in society that you have no personality to the outside world, one where any action is justified as you are nothing more than a triangle among a symphony. Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man highlights the black struggle of mental illness as the unnamed narrator struggles with his loss of identity and constant struggle just to stay sane in his everyday world, and from the PTSD vets to the crazy man he encounters in New York, Ellison makes his character disdain in the eyes of society. Within the book Ellison tells the reader the struggle of how black patients were treated as lab rats, being unfairly…show more content…
This Mr. Wheatstraw describes himself as an extremely luck person, seventh son of a seventh son, a caul over both eyes which also indicates blindness, a black cat bone, and high John the conqueror. All these are folk lore of things that represent luck in black society but somehow Mr.Wheatstraw has found himself a Schizophrenic, on the streets of New York, pushing a hunking cart of dangly old blueprints. Both Ellison's character and the real life Wheat straw refer to themselves as the Devil's son-in-law, all these Voodoo symbols are supposed to show how black culture was looked at as insane, and along with someone is already insane it makes him a disgrace to all societies. Much of real life Wheatstraw songs were about expanding the black power and community, and still this what the book Wheatstraw is doing. By taking these blueprints he symbolizes the community and…show more content…
Ellison shows the reader through his unique characters and structure that we deny ourselves happiness, tranquility, and our own being by the ridicule of other people, and that we must meet our own needs by validating ourselves from within instead of our value being a composite of the society that ridicules our being. Ellison's own struggle and connection to mental intemperance is the one of his great differences in the world to us and to see someone else's struggle puts our own life in context. In Invisible Man a single takeaway of many is that society turns us invisible, a part of its overall machine, but we have to learn not to look through ourselves in times of invisibility and not confuse our own blindness for invisibility as one may lead to the

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