Invisible Man Clifton Analysis

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We should fear those who wish to be unseen. Yes, this logic appears hard to grasp. Why should we fear someone who can enhance the attention we receive from others? Especially if those “others” carry titles like: talent scout, hiring manager, William Martin, President, or Bachelorette. But, this thought is inaccurate. The invisibility of certain groups may actually expose us to more strife than success; more oppression than opportunity. At least, this sentiment is what Ralph Ellison seems to express in his novel, Invisible Man. Within these pages, we discover black characters like the Invisible Man and Clifton who are rendered undetectable in multiple ways. White women, Ras, and the Brotherhood then prey on their invisibility with the goal of …show more content…
Sylvander would argue that the Invisible Man dehumanizes these women, therefore, the Invisible Man achieves visibility through the white women’s invisibility. Sylvander states: “Sybil has no idea she is being laughed at, made fun of, brutalized in a way her life has not allowed her to recognize” (78). What Sylvander fails to consider with her reading is that what she calls “brutalized” is what Sybil would call attention. Sybil is very critical of her husband: “George talks a lot about women’s rights, but what does he know about what a woman needs? Him with his forty minutes of brag and ten of bustle. Oh, you have no idea what you’re doing for me” (521) and “Georgie’s blind ‘sa mole in a hole ‘n doesn’t know a thing about it [social change]” (524). Sybil’s primary complaint is that George doesn’t acknowledge her, this is evident by her accusation that he is “blind.” Sybil recognizes her “brutalization” and she enjoys it because she is the focus—she is acknowledged. Furthermore, Sylvander writes: “Mockingly, he finally sends her away-she is not useful to him after all” (78). Sybil’s lack of usefulness is exactly why the Invisible Man can’t capitalize on her invisibility, she doesn’t make him more visible. On the contrary, the Invisible Man is extremely useful to Sybil; she fails the Invisible Man, but she gets exactly what she wants from him. First, Sybil did not want sex. So, it is irrelevant that the Invisible Man never sleeps with her. Second, Sybil actually wants attention and adventure: “I get so tired of living the way I do, beautiful. Soon I’ll be old and nothing will’ve happened to me” (521). When the Invisible Man tries to elude Sybil, when he chases her across the park, when he promises to repeat their episode every Thursday, he gives her what she wants—adventure. What Sylvander

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