What Is The Theme Of Injustice In Invisible Man By Ralph Ellison

Decent Essays
As a young, Black intellectual in 20th century America, Ralph Ellison no doubt had many reasons to protest. The injustice experienced by African Americans under the oppressive, White system moved a number of people in Ellison’s time to protest. Ellison’s act of protest was in the form of the novel Invisible Man. Much of the book can be considered autobiographical since there are many parallels between the experiences in Ellison’s life and the life of the narrator, such as their schooling, identity, and curiosity in communism. Ellison uses Invisible Man as a form of media to expose the true intentions of communism, the evils of powerful Black people, and the true nature of an African American man’s identity crisis. However, the most important …show more content…
He expresses confusion in what his grandfather says before death, “It became a constant puzzle which lay unanswered in the back of my mind. And whenever things went well for me I remembered my grandfather and felt guilty and uncomfortable.” His grandfather’s theory on how to overcome the oppression of the white man shaped the early stages of Invisible Man’s life, making him submissive and subservient to white people. Ellison establishes this thinking as Invisible Man’s starting point on his journey of self discovery to make it clear that this is an important philosophy. Another character fitting the “grandfather archetype” is the veteran from the Golden Day episode; this veteran also confuses and angers the narrator, but after growing more he sees the value of the vet’s words. Going forward with the plot Ellison will mix the grandfather’s thinking with other formative life experiences creating a complex character. Ellison’s point is that this theory is only one way of thinking; if Black society is to progress, some sort of consensus must be …show more content…
The principal of the college, Dr. Bledsoe, has been described as a Black opportunist; a man who takes any chance he can to further himself socially and financially. This new type of thinking is disturbing and downright wrong to Invisible Man. Again this establishing of Bledsoe as a villain expresses Ellison’s feelings toward Black opportunists. Invisible Man later feels that Bledsoe may have been trying to warn him about the two-faced nature of society, “Hadn’t I grown up around gambler-politicians, bootlegger-judges, and sheriffs who were burglars; yes, and Klansmen who were preachers and members of humanitarian societies? Hell, and hadn’t Bledsoe tried to tell me what it was all about?” (510). Regardless of this explanation of what Bledsoe may have been helpful for, he still fits into the mold of an antagonist. Another character fitting the Bledsoe/Black opportunist archetype include Lucious Brockway, an engineer for Liberty Paints, who sees himself as better than any other men (Black or White) working there simply because he holds the key to the white paint formula. Unlike the case of the grandfather’s philosophy, Invisible Man never accepts the mentality of Bledsoe as normal or morally right. In fact, as Invisible Man experiences more injustices he moves further away from Bledsoe’s cold hearted

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