Analysis Of Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man

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“I am an invisible man” is narrated by Ellison’s character in Invisible Man at the very beginning of Prologue. The start of this literary work proposes many questions as to how the story will unfold. How can one become invisible? How does it interact with its surroundings and other people? Is it able to switch between visibility and invisibility? The narrator of Invisible Man is introduced with a feature that he may or may not have control over. However, it isn’t revealed as to how he obtained this ability. This would provide the idea of Invisible Man being a kunstlerroman, showing the author’s artistic maturity. In the early chapters of Prologue and Chapter 1, the author is struggling in guidance as his narrator is portrayed to be indecisive …show more content…
Our narrator of Invisible Man is forced to participate in a blindfolded boxing match against nine other opponents. As with any being that is blinded, the narrator explains, “blindfolded, I could no longer control my motion” (7). In relation to kunstlerroman, Ellison shows his lack of awareness and direction in this quote. Being blindfolded, the sense of direction is lost as everything around him vanishes and he must rely on something else rather than sight to navigate. However, it doesn’t seem to work out as he is clearly struggling to find himself, similarly to the author’s immaturity in his work. Ellison is struggling to find himself in his work, blinded by the insecurities that he may have about his work not being of canon to works of Fitzgerald, Shakespeare or Allan Poe. Knowing these authors are of canon, others look to them as “gods” or leaders because of their outstanding literary works that invoke deep thoughts and connections to the text. The content of Invisible Man enforces the theme that white folk hold power above everyone else, especially people of color. Therefore, characters of color in Invisible Man turn to the white folk as a type of savior to guide them as such with varying authors trail behind Poe, Shakespeare and …show more content…
At the very end of Invisible Man, Ellison writes in the Epilogue, “who knows but that, on the lower frequencies, I speak for you?” (444). Similar to his narrator of Invisible Man, Ellison comes to terms with the world and matures his literary skills. He relates himself to other artists that are experiencing the same journey he followed towards kunstlerroman. Ellison’s use of a question becomes a relation to his readers that basically speaks: “I know how you feel, I got through it, so can you!” The empathy shown by Ellison should be acknowledged more, as this shows Ralph Ellison and the Invisible Man’s

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