Essay on Literary Analysis Of Invisible Man By Ralph Ellison

1609 Words Sep 26th, 2016 7 Pages
Literary Analysis of Invisible Man
Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man” is narrated in the first person by an unnamed African American male who struggles to find his identity and succeed in a racially-divided society that works to constrict him to stereotype and prejudice. The readers witness the narrator’s growth from a naive and blinded ignorance to consciousness of his individuality. The narrator attempts to define himself through the standards and presumptions prescribed to him. He later recognizes that each time he works to conform to an identity, his ability to be an individual is limited and it forces him to play an inauthentic part. The author uses metaphors, symbolism, and characterization to portray the literal and figurative blindness that inhibits the characters from seeing the narrator’s true identity.
The narrator begins his story with the recollection of his high school graduation speech. He is invited to give the same speech at a local hotel to the town 's leading white citizens. However, when he arrives at the hotel, the narrator is forced to participate in a blindfolded battle royal with nine of his classmates. This event exhibits one of the recurring themes of the novel: blindness shields from reality and fosters ignorance. The white men watching this boxing event were figuratively blinded as they saw a racial stereotype: the African American boys as savage animals only providing them entertainment. The blindfolds also represent the boys’ figurative and…

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