Invisible Man Analysis

Better Essays
Athulya Ajoykrishnan
2 September 2014
Second Hour
AP Literature Invisible Man Reduction Title: Invisible Man Author: Ralph Ellison Date of Publication: 1952 Genre: Literary fiction, Bildungsroman, existential
Biographical information about the author: He was born March 1, 1914 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma as a grandson of slaves. He was named after Emerson. His father died when Ellison was young, and he grew up with his mother and brother. A good musician, he attended Tuskegee Institute in Alabama as a trumpeter to further his career goal to be a composer. In 1936, Ellison moved to New York in order to earn money for college. Finding a job as a writer for New York Federal Writers Program, he was mentored by Langston
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Right now he is living in a hole in the ground contemplating the future. He begins the story by saying that his grandparents were freed slaves. The narrator’s confusion begins when his grandfather’s last words are to use the white-dominant system against them. The narrator doesn’t understand what his grandpa means and constantly wonders if he is angering the whites or following his grandpa’s last words with his actions. The narrator writes a speech on how the way to progression for blacks is through humility. Even though he doesn’t truly believe it, he goes to give the speech to the town leaders. During the night, he partakes in a battle royal wrestling competition, sees a nude dancer, and fights for electrically charged money with other boys. At the end of night he is presented with a form to attend the black college. At college, during Founders Day, he is asked to give a tour to an original founder, Mr. Norton. During their tour, they meet several people from the low end of black community, including Trueblood and member of Golden Day. Mr. Norton faints, and narrator is expelled from the college. He moves to New York and joins as a worker for Liberty Paint Factory, where he is hurt in an explosion. At the hospital, he becomes a lab-rat. He is taken care of at Mary Rambo’s, and he becomes a Harlem speaker for the Brotherhood. The Brotherhood falls apart, a riot occurs in Harlem, and the narrator falls into a manhole. Living in the manhole, he encounters Mr. Norton—who doesn’t recognize him. The narrator then tells us he’s ready to come out of hibernation and live his life for

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