The Themes Of Slavery In Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man

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Invisible Man, a novel by Ralph Ellison, focuses on a nameless narrator who tells of his life story. The story starts off in the South and eventually leads to the North when he enters college. Throughout the novel, many important changes to the Narrator are noted and can be easily noticed by a change in attitude or perspective. The first of these many changes comes in the form of innocence into lustfulness. He experiences this change while forced to watch a naked white woman perform a dancing act for some of the “big shots” in the town. The indecisive and young minded narrator describes his interaction with the white female dancer in such a way that suggests that it is an experience that first provoked thoughts of lust inside himself and was a cause for change in his inner self, he is able to convey this sensational experience…show more content…
The narrator’s use of imagery to describe young lust when he pounders at the female dancer is surreal and offers much needed detail to further understand his mindset. He first uses auditory imagery to set the scene by saying “A clarinet was vibrating sensuously…”(Ellison 15), the keyword here is “sensuously” which is knowingly a reference to the pleasure the clarinet gives to the narrator. Although “vibrating” is used to describe the sound of the clarinet, it can also be argued as a description for touch since vibrations are usually associated with pleasure as well. Another very notable use of imagery is when the narrator says “And then she began to dance, a slow sensuous movement…”(Ellison 16), again the word “sensuous” is used by the
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