Black Identity And Marxism In Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man

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Published in 1952, Ralph Ellison ' s Invisible Man is the story about a man in New York City

who believes himself to be invisible to American society because of his black skin. Entire the book

reflexes the author 's stands about relationships between black identity and Marxism as well as his

anger toward racial issues. Chapter 3 of the book tells the trip of narator, a black man, and Mr.

Norton, a white man having alcohol dependence problems to the Golden Day bar. This is the

typical chapter showing how the black people are invisible in society.

The appearance of black veterans is the first sign of invisibility toward The Black from

society. On his way to the bar, the narrator saw a group of black veterans also heading to the bar.

He
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The narrator is so much worried that Mr. Norton cannot get inside the rowdy bar for

drinks. When Halley, a bartender at Golden Day, refuse to send alcohol outside the bar, again, the

narrator feel even more anxious that he cannot comfort his passenger. Moreover, the attitude of the

two men carrying Mr. Norton into the bar shows their respect to a strange Caucasian. One claims

that Mr. Norton is Thomas Jefferson and he is his grandson. Once Mr. Norton get lost in the

middle of the crowd, the narrator is panic to search him all over the Golden Day. The narrator

found Mr. Norton on the stair way with the feeling of being frightened for he have never got to any

white people this close. The narrator feels like he just breaks the invisible boundary between The

White and The Black.

The last invisibility of this chapter is visualized at the ex­doctor situation. In the contrast to

narrator and two veterans ' behaviors, the ex­doctor acts with full self­confidence. He is the only

man gives orders for everyone about what to do. The doctor tells the narrator to stop screaming,

send the girls out of the room and diagnose for Mr. Norton. He is the only man who reminds the

narrator that skin colors do not make differences among races. The ex­doctor served in
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Norton too angry to leave the bar. Despite of his anger, Mr. Norton get out the bar

silently and he cannot fight back. The incident proves that The Blacks are matter. Their visibility

does influent the world and the upper classes have to admit it. The black physician seems to break

through the invisible boundary with a white man and to prove his visibility to society. However, in

a different angle of view, the ex­doctor is still invisible in some scales since his skills are not

appreciate by the community. Golden Day is not the right place for him to to practice. He is now

just classified the same as other mental patients by the higher classes.

Consequently, throughout 24 chapters of the book, chapter 3 vividly portrays how The Negros

are invisible to the American society, regardless their social status and their contributions to the

nation. Every individual is visible to the world. It is just how society appreciates it. Despite of skin

colors and races, Ralph Ellison wants to send a message that people should not label themselves as

"invisible," mentioned by the ex­doctor. Individuals have the right to freely express oneself as long

as they do not insult

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