Essay Title: 

Invisible Man

March 24, 2016 | Author: | Posted in literature and language

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Invisible Man


What makes us visible to others and how does sometimes the society remains blind on the existence of someone are few questions the `invisible man ‘ addresses . The meaning of invisible in Ellison ‘s novel is essentially metaphorical . The term invisible is not used in literal sense in the novel and it relates to being noticed or ignored due to our perspectives of race , gender , or class . Throughout the novel , Ralph Ellison works with many different images of [banner_entry_middle]

blindness and impaired vision and how it relates to perception . These images prove to be interesting pieces of symbolism that enhance the themes of impression and vision within the novel . This will discuss the use of symbolism in the novel , including the battle royal and the use of veils blindness and vision in this novel

Use of Symbolism in the Novel

From the beginning of the novel when the narrator is blindfolded during the battle royal to the end where Brother Jack ‘s false eye pops out images of sight and blindness add to the meaning of many scenes and characters . Characters like Homer A . Barbee and Brother Jack think that they know all but prove to be blind when it comes to the world they are living in

In the prologue , the narrator describes how he is invisible . He tells the readers , I am invisible , understand , simply because people refuse to see me (3 . He further says that people cannot see him , not because of their physical eyes , but because of their inner eyes , which is a reference to their thoughts on race . Since he is a black man , he believes that they overlook him for this fact . The prologue gives a feeling of strong emotions of the narrator about being invisible . One night , he bumps into a blonde man who calls him an insulting name . The narrator beats the blonde man nearly to death and is about to slit his throat when he realizes that the man never really saw him . He begins to laugh at this crazy discovery

In the first chapter , the narrator gives a speech at his high school graduation that quoted the ideals of Booker T . Washington , that humility was the secret , indeed , the very essence of progress for black and white race relations (17 . The speech was so renowned in his community that he was asked to give it again at a town meeting of white higher-ups . Almost immediately , they are forced to watch a naked white woman dance . Then , they are blindfolded with broad bands of white cloth (21 ) and made to fight each other . These are two signifiers of the white power over the blacks . If they do look at the woman or if they try to look away , the white men tell them to do the opposite . Either way , their vision is a disadvantage . Then when they are blindfolded , the cloth being white is another representation of white supremacy . In the… [banner_entry_footer]

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