Invisible Man By Ralph Ellison Essay

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Ralph Ellison’s seminal work Invisible Man achieves one of the most sensational debuts of any novel in American history. Not only did it earn the National Book Award in 1953, the novel also spent sixteen weeks on the bestseller list and is considered to be one of the most influential American novels since World War II. The novel’s acclaim was well deserved, Invisible Man is noted for its masterful use of symbolism, metaphor, multiple styles and tones. The novel is thought to be one of the truest relations of the Black experience in America following reconstruction through the civil rights movement. Invisible Man was recognized by prominent literary scholars such as Saul Bellow and Irving Howe as a landmark publication. For all its acclaim, feminist critics continue to take issue with Ellison’s depiction of women in the narrative, all the female characters in Invisible Man are casted as static characters without development or depth. Though this writer does accept with many of the feminist perspectives applied to the novel, this paper denies popular arguments regarding Ellison’s intent. Where many feminist critics choose to believe that the lack of depth portrayed within the novel’s female characters is proof of the authors own personal bias against women, this paper will posit a different intent for Ellison’s authorial intent: In creating one-dimensional stereotypical female characters, Ellison is able to illuminate the ways that oppression has rendered all subgroups blind…

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