Ralph Ellison 's Invisible Man Essay

1324 Words Oct 23rd, 2014 6 Pages
In the 1950’s, African Americans fought against segregation, discrimination and equality for many years. After supposedly gaining equal rights, they still were second to whites. They were no longer slaves, but unfortunately they still felt less than the whites. Many figures rose to fight and protest to put a stop to the inequities between the two races. Plenty died for what they envisioned and wanted for future generations. During this same period, Ralph Ellison wrote Invisible Man. The book follows one specific person, an unnamed black man, to address the issues that African Americans faced. Ellison highlights the social injustice in America while presenting the character’s efforts to reveal how blacks try to become visible, survive, and achieve from their invisibility.
The struggles of being in an unjust world leaves the unnamed man to represent how blacks wanted to get rid of their invisibility and recognized in the world. It is first important to mention that Baldwin intentionally did not name the character in order to bring attention to the inherent fact that without a name one is invisible. The black man suffers, in many instances, where he wants to be acknowledged by whites. Residing in a basement, in order to gain recognition he has “To fill [the] dark hole with light, he burns 1,369 bulbs.” The unnamed character lives in a basement unbeknownst to other legal tenants and the landlord. While there, he decorated his dwelling with an exorbitant amount of light bulbs…

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