Invisble Man Essay, Research Paper
In our society, man is often idolized and publicly accepted for his strengths and
accomplishments, while ridiculed for his misfortunes and failures. A single individual
can go into hiding, thus concealing his most personal thoughts and desires in invisibility
from fear of acceptance. In Ralph Ellison s Invisible Man, a young black boy must look
within himself, in his experiences on the road to maturing, learning self-acceptance and
rejecting that which threatens his quest for manhood.
Mr. Ellison portrays a significant kind of independence in his writing. He adopted
a tone throughout the novel to express the problems as a Negro minority. He did so
successfully by not adopting a minority tone. In doing so, Ellison was able to capture his
audiences of any ethnic decent.
Negro Harlem was at one point primitive yet sophisticated in nature. In the
beginning chapter of Invisible Man, Ellison accurately portrays this culture by exhibiting
the extremes of instinct and civilization as few other American communities do. He
does so without dwelling upon the Negro culture, yet rather the culture of man in its
entirety; a universal matter which is very little understood. It is thought that Negroes and
other minorities are inevitably tempted by rage and anger in dealing with the status battle.
In attempt to suppress these malicious notions, man must learn self-acceptance in order to
find personal status within himself and society. In this respect, most American s do keep
to themselves and thus adequately portray Ellison s Invisible Man.
Language throughout the novel is descriptive and plausible. Ellison chooses his
words carefully in order to depict the experiences of its characters which it explores. His
ear for Negro speech is magnificent; realistically depicting a share-cropper calmly
describing how he seduced his own daughter, a Harlem street-vender spinning jive, a
West Indian woman inciting her men to resist an eviction. The rhythm of the prose is
harsh and tensed, like a beat of a distinct alertness. His observations and discriptions are
expert. Ellison knows exactly how zoot-suiters walk, making stylization their principle of
life, and exactly how the antagonism between American and West Indian Negroes works
itself out in speech and humor. For all his self-involvement, he is capable of extending
himself toward his people, of accepting them as they are, in their blindness and hope. It is
this hope that allows the main character of the novel to embrace his life to its fullest
without hiding his emotions and ideals in invisibility.
Yet it is the hero in this novel whose body is malled by human experience and it is
still he who decides to no longer be invisible. He does so only by bracing the concept
that his life holds unlimited possibilities and questioning that which he had become