Monday, January 13, 2014

Invisible Man

The Invisible Man  by Ralph Ellison, the book was one of my finest reads in English study history. The perspective of the narrator, given no name, helps reveal and uncover not only the plague of social discrimination African-Americans felt, but the plight of those that are beat down, taken advantage of, non-influential, disposable, and more importantly, invisible. Instead of seeing the book through the eyes of an African-American in a time of social discomfort, the way it was written, I view the book through the eyes of a normal man, indefinable by skin color or race, who is run over by the social system of the time and rid tirelessly. Trying to fit in, to make a difference, the man is ultimately invisible as the games the other play have no sight for REAL change, hence the invisibility of true equality. Sure, there are other African-American themes that help promote the perspective of the narrator as one for justice for his race, but the narrator had a more true purpose, to promote equality for everyone, regardless of color. He got screwed over through the brotherhood, who secretly wanted to destroy the black community of Harlem, while the narrator was tricked into thinking he was making a difference. The Sambo doll, though a disgusting stereotype of the African-American, by burning it, symbolically, I view it as a casting away of all stereotypes, regardless of race. The narrator is relentlessly jumped by stereotypes throughout the book, like Sybil's brute fantasy of him, while he had no time for that mess. 
Through the want of being invisible, his wish is that his identity should not be indiscernible on outward appearance and perpetrating stereotypes , but through his individual impact on society.