The Invisible Man Literary Analysis

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The Invisible Man narrates young black man´s process of self-discovering and self-growing and his struggle to gain recognition and to define his identity in a white American patriarchal society. Although the most relevant aspect in the novel is the fight the protagonist faces in order to obtain equality between races and gain visibility in the society, female characters seem to be completely forgotten, denied and lacking visibility and autonomy. Women´s othering and the oppression of a Western patriarchal system makes them as invisible throughout the novel as the protagonist-or even more-. In addition, female representatives in the novel are reduced to established roles and stereotypes which deny them any kind of individual personality. This…show more content…
In fact, her story is relevant just because of her pregnancy and what it means for her father. The race struggle and inequality seem to be the real reason why everything began; Trueblood experiences the uncontrollable feeling that the patriarchal system, whose basis are established by the white community, is failing in him. Jim´s economic situation makes him realise that he is losing his role as the head of the family and that he cannot fulfil his wishes of equalling his status to that of white men. Having no control over his daughter´s sentimental, and especially sexual life, Trueblood feels that his virility and his role as father is lost and thus, he finds in raping her the mean to reassert his…show more content…
Thus, from the whore, seductress and sexually objectified woman, which has been described previously, we turn to the Madonna and maternal stereotype. As Yolanda Pierce writes in “The Invisible Women in Ellison´s Invisible Man”, Mary is represented as “a typical “mammy” figure, existing only to serve the needs of others” (158). Mary is denied throughout the novel any kind of sexual desire or personal identity; she is useful in the novel as long as she serves the protagonist´s needs, acting as his guardian angel. Mary´s help is the only way in which he is able to fulfil his expectations and overcome the economic barriers he finds in his new life in New York. However, it seems that Mary tries to live the activism and the struggle that the protagonist represents through him; she is very aware that due to her age, race and gender, she is not able to obtain any success in her life and she is not directly useful to any
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