Theme Of Racism In The Invisible Man


There has been an incredible amount of change within America. Society has changed and evolved, yet there are certain aspects of history that will never be forgotten as we assure that we will not regress to our old society. Ordinarily, after the abolition of slavery in the United States there was as transition to the industrial society yet, there was still a phenomenon of racism that was incredibly intergrated in America’s society. We are able to depict the harsh realities that a common black man would face throughout an individual's life-time in America. This is seen in Ralph Ellison's novel Invisible Man. Ralph Ellison was able to detach himself from the story by leaving the narrator nameless allowing the readers to ultimately watch as the narrator's identity is created. Moreover, the narrator encounters different racial stereotypes as he enters and leaves different social groups which ultimately leads him down the path of trying to find his identity. Accordingly, throughout the novel, the narrator cannot find his true self because he has to overanalyze interactions, he continuously gets misled by those who he trusted and he ultimately gets rejected at first glance from his peers while in his first job.

Accordingly, throughout The Invisible Man we can analyze how the narrator is always analyzing the possible outcomes and double meanings of everyday life. This occurs because of the consistent racism and patronizing demeanor his peers have towards him as a black university student. Moreover, we are able to analyze this by the way that the narrator is extremely anxious as he drives Mr. Norton. The narrator tries to create small talk through his anxiety and mentions Jim and his story. Consequently, this provokes Mr. Norton to approach Jim. Throughout the conversation the narrator thinks about how terrible it may present him as he states “I was unable to move. I felt surprise and a dread and a resentment” (Ellison, 50). Which shows how certain the narrator was of his mistake as anxiety was coursing through his head. Upon their return to the college the narrator is approached by Dr. Bledsoe and ultimately gets expelled from the school for his recklessness. The narrator accepts his punishment as he understands his faults because throughout the length of the car ride he was analyzing how this situation would reflect on him in the eyes of the president. Conversely, I cannot help but question if his expulsion is caused by his ethnicity and not because of his poor choices.

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