Women In Invisible Man

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In Invisible Man, the trope of invisibility functions as a criticism of racist American society, but it also encompasses the novel's subtext of gender erasure. Both black and white females throughout the novel are underdeveloped and virtually invisible. In the novel, both black and white women are purposefully stereotyped and are exploited mainly by white men who seek to further their own interests and desires thus adding to the identity or role these female characters have in society. As women are shown their blatant lack of rights and freedom as an invisible woman, they seem to be on par with black people for having the lack of full freedoms in a white-male dominated society. The white women that appear in the novel represent the taboo of …show more content…
This is demonstrated in the novel with Sybil when she pushes her black male-rape fantasies unto the narrator when she is drunk. Portraying black men as common animals who seamlessly rape others beyond thought is a dominant and common stereotype named the Mandingo. Sybil tries to stereotype the narrator into the Mandingo because it gives her a figurative power. The ability to undermine someone’s true character and their individuality is a power of which you show your dominance due to taking away someone’s person. This is the exact dominant trait that is seen in the white males towards women throughout the novel. These white males take away women’s identity and morph it into a sexual nature to which they control as a possession. It is because of this that Sybil tries to dominate the narrator. She wants to prove her identity and social worth to society thus she will demean black males and show her dominance and power of that of a white male. The rich woman who the narrator has sex with also attempts to over power the narrator through treating him as an object. This white woman listens politely to the narrator’s words, expresses admiration for him, and sleeps with him because the narrator embodies the “primitive” black male. Thus because he is stereotyped again as the Mandingo, she treats him as an object, using him to indulge her sexual fantasies just like Sybil. As the rich woman objectifies the narrator, it is seen that her husband also treats her, as a possession for his face at discovering the affair she had was, “looking in with neither interest nor surprise…his face expressionless, his eyes staring.” (417) The lack of anger or shock on her husbands face indicates that she does this all the time of which he doesn’t care. This uncaring attitude teaches that because she is just a possession of

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