Essay on Ralph Ellison 's Invisible Man

849 Words Nov 28th, 2016 4 Pages
In Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, the narrator feels that he is “invisible” to the rest of the world because he is black. While constantly being critically stereotyped, it is difficult for the narrator to assume an individual identity. The first two chapters have significant differences and similarities that highlight the narrator’s awareness of his social and individual identity. The first chapter begins with the narrator discussing his youth living in the American South. He lives in a town that is full of rich white citizens, and he is confused with his own identity; he does not yet recognize that he is an “invisible man” to the rest of society. He does not recognize his invisibleness because he pleases the white citizens by calling on the African-American community to be more submissive and have humility in order to progress peacefully within society. He is educated the way the white citizens want him to be – agitated with his own race. Before the narrator can realize that he is nobody but himself, he knows he must “…discover that [he is] an invisible man!” (Invisible 13). Thus, he must recognize that he is invisible to the white citizens because they view African-Americans as inferior in relation to the white race. Similarly, Franz Fanon states, “Since the other hesitated to recognize me, there remained only one solution: to make myself known” (Blackness 5). It is the responsibility of the “invisible man” fight the oppressor – white citizens who continue discriminatory…

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