Mwds: the Invisible Man Essay Example
Mwds: the Invisible Man Essay Example

Mwds: the Invisible Man Essay Example

Available Only on StudyHippo
  • Pages: 14 (3676 words)
  • Published: September 13, 2017
  • Type: Article
View Entire Sample
Text preview

Major Works Data Sheet Invisible Man

1. Ellison, Ralph. Invisible Man. New York: Vintage International, 1995. Print.

2. Genre: "Had they planned it this way? But no, they wouldn't catch me again. This time I had made the The Genre of Invisible Man would be Blossoming, a word used to describe the personal development of education and formation. This quote carefully hints the identity recognition that the narrator is experiencing. The recognition that Ellison highlights shows the difference in the narrator and how he has come to the realization of who he truly is.

Realizing this identity has led him to grasp the idea that he can make his own "move" and can seek revenge going against what others tell him. Ellison writes in thi


s atypical genre because of the way it establishes the overall path that the narrator has taken for his search of character and seldom. This chase for identification has left him saying "This time I had made the move" from where he use to fall under the impression of what was expected of him and to not step out of the boundaries. Breaking away from this normality was a major shock to not only the narrator himself but the readers as well.

As an audience we are accustomed to hearing him as a follower instead of a profound leader. This one fragment of a sentence pushed away this belief into an entire different dimension. It showed us his growth and development as a human being and a civilian. Ellison portrayed this advancement thoroughly with Blossoming and proved his reasoning of why he chose this genre to follow over any othe

View entire sample
Join StudyHippo to see entire essay


3. Style: "Life is to be lived, not controlled; and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat.

Our fate is to become one, and yet many This is not prophecy, but description" (577).

4. Description of Style: The style is portrayed in Invisible Man through Ralph Ellison's impeccable and descriptive writing. He uses powerful verbs such as "controlled", "won", "and "continuing" to emphasize the point being made in this quote. The position being brought upon in the words from the quote are very strong and yet convincing to the audience. This persuasion of that our "life is to be lived" and for it "not controlled" establishes the style that Ellison is representing in his writing.

His approaches of enactment change throughout the book from sad, playful, shy, angry, loud, fast paced, raring on different styles and traditions of writing. These altered customs have a strong affect on what the book presents to the readers on how we comprehend Ellison's depicted script that he chooses to perform with. The performance of the writing in the quote not only shows us the narrator's strong sense of verbs and nouns, but also the word choices he desires to use shows us his level of intellect.

This degree of intelligence is shown by using the word "prophecy' instead of prediction and having both sentences tell you what something is then followed up by what is to, such as "life is to be lived, not controlled. " The nouns "life", "humanity', and "fate" all are given human personalities. Their essence is described by "to be lived" or "is won" or "to become one. "

The nouns have positioned themselves with different characteristics and are willing to represent a message through the style that Ellison has decided to use.

The decision has brought about a book that is said to be one of America's greatest works of literature and continues to be up to this day.

5. Setting: "Then in my mind's eye I see the bronze statue of the college founder, the cold father humbly, his hands outstretched in the breathtaking gesture of lifting a veil that flutters in hard, metallic folds above the face of a whether the veil is really being lifted, or lowered more firmly in place: whether I am witnessing a revelation or a more efficient blinding. "(36). Then at the street intersection I had the shock of seeing a black policeman directing traffic- and there were white drivers in the traffic who obeyed his signals as though it was the most natural thing in the world. Sure I had heard of it, but this was real. My courage returned. This really was Harlem"(1 59). The setting of Invisible Man is put into two very contradicting locations. The first residence takes place at a black college in the south during the sass's. The narrator has always desired to attend a college to further his education which he received through a scholarship.

The college is a base for who he became then and who he becomes after leaving. It is referred back to multiple times by the narrator himself always quoting how different his life is now from what it was then. The first quote lets us visualize what the narrator is seeing as he is

standing there looking at the objects and students surrounding him. He describes the college founder statue with great depth and details for he is puzzled by the appearance at which it stands. It lets us understand what he is seeing and comprehending as he questions his own thoughts on this prized college.

After being thrown out of the school, he travels to the second location which is Harlem, New York City. The narrator went from the very racist south to the optimistic north. This difference caused him to become dizzy with the new surroundings. He comes to Harlem to find work and a new perspective which he experiences almost immediately as he walks into the town. The quote helps us understand his perception of what is happening through a subjective view point. We can visually apprehend the "shock" he went through and the scene that was taking place before his eyes.

This culture "shock" helps him realize that life could possibly be different and is progressing to socially except blacks. In the moment of the quote it helps him retrieve that "courage" that was stripped from him at the college. The different settings both resemble who he was and who he has become. The contrasting places symbolize the struggles at which he faced and the ones that he is going to be facing in a new environment.

6. Point of View: "Thoughts invaded me, hiding in the vast stretch of clinical whiteness to which I seemed connected only by a scale of receding grays.

No sounds beyond the sluggish inner roar of the blood. I couldn't open my eyes. I seemed to exist in some

other dimension, utterly alone; until after a while a nurse bent down and forced warm fluid between my lips"(238). Ellison desired to have his novel be in first person point of view. This point of view was told through the narrator and the struggles in which he had to find his identity. His finding was a long process in which he told through very descriptive and detailed rods such as "sluggish", "receding grays" and "utterly alone".

These words help us understand what he is feeling in this state of his life and the struggles that are thrown upon him. The sentences in the quote transform into mini narratives by the verbs, nouns, and other parts of speech he uses. It lets me visually see what is going on in my head as I read it. The verbs that help me comprehend these images are "invaded", "open", "bent", "forced", and "exist. " The way the narrator personally describes these actions lets me know this was a firsthand experience. The detailed ascription of the occurrence could only be told if you had personal knowledge of what was happening.

If this had happened to anyone else there would not be any embellished details or personal touches to the event. The narrator does a profound job with the use of figurative language and dynamic verbs allowing us readers to be intrigued as we read his experiences.

7. Growth: "It was as though I was carrying out his advice in spite of myself. And to make it worse, everyone loved me for it. I was praised by the most lily-white men of the town. I was considered an example of

desirable conduct-Just as my grandfather had en"(16). And my problem was that I always tried to go in everyone's way but my own. I have also been called one thing and then another while no one really wished to hear what I called myself. So after years of trying to adopt the opinions of others I finally rebelled. I am an invisible man"(573). The narrator's growth through his story progresses from being a "desirable conduct" to a "rebelled" human being. As a person he has overcome many obstacles that have taken him from quote one to quote two. The quotes both symbolize who he was at the beginning and who is at the ending.

In both the introduction and the conclusion he mentions how he is an "invisible man" but the meaning of this phrase changes through the course of the novel. The phrase starts by calling attention to the fact that others cannot see him, and he now meaner in the second quote that his identity is real even if others cannot see it. He realizes that the only way to have true freedom is through his own recognition. This establishment of understanding how to obtain true independence has helped him to rebel against all others other than himself.

In the first quote he is fulfilling his "grandfather's advice" and was noninsured a "desirable" example in which others claimed this thought. This contemplation carries on into the second quote as he grasps the concept that he has always been called "one thing" but never asked what he calls "himself. " He understands now that he tried so consistently to break away from his grandfathers

words that he ended up playing the role that he never anticipated. This role led him through many unusual and terrifying tasks helping him believe in what true freedom.

This liberty that he has captured in words has let us realize that he has finally given up. He has given up on pleasing others and himself. He has followed the ideology of the college and the Brotherhood without creating his own identity. This development has him realize that finding the key to who he is unlocks the door to freedom.

8. Topics/lessees: "I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me"(3). The main issue brought upon in the Invisible Man is the discovering of one's identity.

This identity is a conflict between self-perception and the projection of others, seen through one man's story: the nameless narrator. He comes to realize that his true perception is in fact invisible to those around him. Only by purposely isolating himself from society can he tackle with and come to understand his individuality. In the quote he claims that he is "invisible" and that people "refuse to see me. " This refusal to see who he is has left him confused and angry. The anger that he has accumulated can be related to students today who cannot find their true identity or understand why nobody can see them.

This invisibility that covers students shields them from grasping the concept of one's self perception. The apprehension of a covered truth can help to let people recognize their true potential and abilities. Embracing these talents lets us understand the identity questions brought upon by many civilians who are confused

with who they are and what they represent.

9. Characters: Grandfather "l even felt safe from grandfather, whose deathbed curse usually spoiled my triumphs"(32). The narrator's feelings toward his grandfather were unspeakable after he had died.

His death words had haunted and cursed him for anything that had come his way. The different occurrences that the narrator ran into grew a stronger hatred for his grandfather. For his words followed the narrator around taunting him whenever something went wrong. The mishaps were to always blame the words spoken in the narrators dream from the grandfather "Keep This Niger -Boy Running"(33). This phrase haunted him during every task that he stumbled upon through the rest of the novel. The book held a pejorative connotation towards the grandfather and how he influenced the narrator.

The narrator describes the grandfather as someone he wishes he never wants to become and in my perspective I believe that the grandfather is trying to teach him the way life works. Life in the sass's was difficult for black Americans and the grandfather was passing the message along for what to expect in the following years of his life. Trouble "l saw Jim Troubled wave as I threw the car into gear. You bastard,' I said under my breath. You no-good Bastard! You get a hundred dollar The narrator has deep disgust towards Troubled by the language that he uses towards him.

These words symbolize that the narrator had developed an abhorrence relationship with this major character in the novel. This character described as a "bastard" by the narrator, must have done something to upset and arise these feelings presented. I would

describe Troubled as a person who has done wrong but caching the narrator a lesson that later he will realize. Lessons on identity and self recognition that will help him understand how to distinguish his own. His inexcusable actions have not only formed the narrator to have a hate towards Troubled, but a revulsion of what has occurred.

DRP. Blessed "When I stopped, gasping for breath, I decided that I would go back and kill Blessed. Yes, I thought, I owe it to the race and to myself. I'll kill him"(194). The invisible man developed a willing to "kill" relationship with DRP. Blessed. This association with him caused the narrator to desire such actions against him such as killing. " He believed that he owed it to himself and to his race to kill Blessed. This reaction shows me that the narrator would describe him as someone who he hates and cannot stand, someone that has hurt him in a mean or deceitful way.

This mean manner has shaped my belief that Blessed is a vindictive person who has planned all along to hurt the narrator. His actions of disgust towards the narrator tells me that he has no feelings once so ever for his own race and is too high strung to care what happens. This feeling is mutual with the narrator as you can tell from the quote. Mary Mary reminded me constantly that something was expected of me, some act of leadership, some newsworthy achievement; and I was torn between resenting her for it and loving her for the nebulous hope she kept alive"(258). Mary was someone who the narrator portrayed feelings.

align="justify">Feelings that he would not openly admit that he had but ones that the readers knew were there. In the quote he says he is "torn between resenting her" and "loving her" for the "nebulous hope she kept alive. " This hope had pushed him to find something that would make him worthy and a leader, a characteristic that someone would be proud of and moored by, such as Mary. This admiration by a human other than himself lets him believe that there is hope for him and hope is all that he needs. The optimistic attitude that Mary carried around with her symbolized the courage and security that the narrator felt about her.

The narrators feelings towards Mary where not always the kindest but as the reader I understood that he had trouble accepting the reality of someone caring for him that was not going to take advantage of him. I can depict Mary as a woman with much knowledge on how boys such as the narrator react. The sections do not bother her for she responds with love and warmth when the narrator walks into her home. The house is a safety for the narrator as he tries to discover his true identity.

10. Themes/Symbols: Blindness is a major theme that is shown throughout the entire Invisible Man novel.

The narrator portrays different actions that symbolize the importance of blindness during his search for identity. He repeatedly notes that people's incapability to see what they wish not to see has forced him into a life of successful invisibility. Prejudice is not the only kind of blindness in the book. Many figures refuse to

comprehend truths about themselves or their communities. The boys who fight in the "battle royal" wear blindfolds. The narrator says "Blindfolded, I could no longer control my motions. I had no dignity. I stumbled about like a baby or a drunken man"(22).

This symbolizes that they cannot control their own bodies when they are blinded from their surroundings and it blinds their weakness to recognize their development at the hands of the white men. These men have created the Founder's statue at the college which had empty eyes, symbolizing his beliefs obstinate neglect f racist realities. Other realities of blindness show through Brother Jack who appears to lack an eye in which he has disguised by wearing a glass eye. The narrator experiences moments of blindness such as when he gave a speech to the black community under enormous, blinding lights.

In each case, failure of sight corresponds too lack of insight. Invisibility is another theme that is an important to the book. The narrator calls himself the "invisible man" throughout the novel referring to as if nobody can see him. His invisible shield has led him to have less power, but brings freedom and mobility with it. It's the freedom the narrator derives from his anonymity that lets him share his story. The vet and the narrators grandfather seem to encourage invisibility as a position in which one can safely undermine others strengths without being noticed.

Not being caught has a sense of security and secrecy in which you can remain safe from the enemies outside. Being safe all the time does not allow the narrator to make a visible impact that would help

with society. He decides to emerge from the underground to face the world and help make a noticeable difference. The briefcase is an item that he carries around with IM through the eternity of the book. It symbolizes what he has started with and what he ends with after all that he has struggled through. The briefcase is given to him after his speech at the Battle Royal.

As he carries it throughout the rest of the novel it signifies the deed he did to receive that briefcase. He never lets go of what is inside until the end of the book in which he burns the papers so he can have light. He then let's go of what has been confining him from his freedom. He realizes that his identity will form through himself and not the following of others. The Samba doll s one of many other symbols represented in Invisible Man but stands an importance for what it represents. Samba dolls are presented as, according to white stereotype, slaves that are lazy yet submissive.

As a dancing doll it represents the negative stereotype of the black entertainer who laughs and sings for whites. It illustrates the power to control a person's movements all together. It is like the invisible strings that a puppet has for its ability to move and often to manipulate the range of motion of which a person is capable.

11. Connection: A major issue addressed in the Invisible Man is the search for identity. The struggle that the narrator has finding out who he truly is not only shows the difficulty of the task but the embarrassment that

he expresses while hunting for it.

This humiliation that is shown brings his level of confidence to an ultimate low by the end of the novel. He no longer knows who he is or where he belongs, but what he does know is that finding his identity will set him free. The concern of children establishing different personalities and characteristics has taken a step over the true issue. Adolescences are in the process of discovering their own uniqueness and individuality. Traits that are acquired by testing different opportunities presented to them. These tasks at stake are creating them to reach that freedom the narrator has sought after.

The connection that the narrator and the teenagers share is the constant bullying and discrimination that always crosses in their paths. In the Huffing Post, there was an article written called Bullying and Suicide: The Dangerous Mistake We Make. It shared in detail the stories of many young teens who have taken their own lives because of the discrimination in finding their true identities. This identification process is a tough opportunity that is handed o us but along the way there are many people who disagree with our choices that we decide to make.

The decisions play an important role for who we become as humans and friends, and this issue of inequality has always been reappearing. The step that most teenagers acquire after being brutally bullied is taking their own lives, something the narrator did not stoop too. This topic of suicide has constantly been a national news topic and had created organizations such as the American Foundation for Suicide. The article written discussed how the bullying

does not always lead to he suicide; it is Just a cause that ends up pulling the trigger.

Usually the teen is depressed before the sign of bullying has started and the actions shown by others just send the adolescent over the edge. The mistake that the communities make is not allowing teenagers to fully search for their own identity. They are restricted from the freedom that is needed to finalize their life. Bindle, Katherine. "Bullying And Suicide: The Dangerous Mistake We Make. " The Huffing Post. Definitiveness's. Com, 08 Feb.. 2012. Web. 19 Novo. 2012. ;http:// www. Hypnotists. Com/2012/02/08/bullying-suicide-teens- depression_n_1247875. HTML;.

Get an explanation on any task
Get unstuck with the help of our AI assistant in seconds