Invisible Man By Ralph Ellison Essay

1091 Words Sep 30th, 2014 5 Pages
Invisible Man is a novel written by Ralph Ellison that reflects and criticises American society in the 1950s when the novel was written. The novel specifically analyses and castigates the idea of segregation towards African Americans and the lack of individuality due to the rigid structure of society. Ellison has cleverly made use of symbolism and metaphors throughout the novel to deliver his views on societal structure and its behaviour towards others within that society. He represents certain aspects in the novel with realistic features that were happening at the time in which the novel was written to further fortify his arguments.

Invisible Man serves as an informative warning of how racial discrimination was encouraged and acted upon as if ordinary. Due to the difference in skin colour, African Americans were frowned upon by the general public and were not treated with dignity and respect. Over the course of the novel, the narrator, an African American, was taken advantage of and treated like an inferior regardless of his skills and talents. Ellison also conveys his perspective through the means of using metaphors to discreetly represent his views. The narrator in the novel worked in a paint factory, whose slogans were ‘keep America pure white with liberty paint’ (1: p 215) and ‘if it’s optic white, it’s the right white’ (1: p 217). These quotes reflect on the inequality in America and the social injustice of being a white dominating society where views and actions of…

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