Ralph Ellison 's Invisible Man Essays

1132 Words Oct 13th, 2015 5 Pages
"Is it possible, and probable, that nine millions of men can make effective progress in economic lines if they are deprived of political rights, made a servile caste (…)? If history and reason give any distinct answer to these questions, it is an emphatic No"(Du Bois 889). Du Bois argues that blacks cannot climb the economic ladder without equal rights. He claims that blacks are being treated as servants because they do not have equal rights and opportunities as white men. In Ralph Ellison 's Invisible Man, Ellison seems to be making a similar argument. Ellison believes that black men cannot economically advance without equal rights by showing throughout "Invisible Man" that white men are blocking the narrator 's advancement up the economic ladder.
People can be controlled by many things. One of the primary objects that white men use, in "Invisible Man," to manipulate black people is money. This act of manipulation is repeated throughout the book. One of the first scenes showing this theme is The Royal Battle, where the narrator is forced to 1) physically fight other black students for the entertainment of white men with the promise of money afterwards, and 2) grab money off a an electrified carpet. In this scene it is quite obvious that these black men are being controlled by money. The white men are using money to turn the black students against each other because they (white men) know that these students are desperate for any money and will do anything for even for a…

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