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Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (Essay Sample)


Comparing and contrasting aspects from the story to the authors life. Showing three major similarities that are fictionalized in the novel that parallel his life.

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
With this book, Ellison managed to establish himself among other significant American novelists of his era. In fact, the position he gained in literature through this work not only maintained but also enhanced in the successive decades. Via an increasing series of brilliantly rendered plus powerfully crafted events, many of them swerving wildly from illogical humor to horror plus violence in their blend of realistic descriptions, the book shows its repeated attempts to define the character. He reels from a community system to another, but ends up being disillusioned at every turn (Boyagoda 94). Nevertheless, Ellison’s work was written in the socially plus politically turbulent 1940 and remains one of the classic writings about the African-American experience. Indeed, this was the time during Civil Rights movement.
The author powerfully tried to address the issues that confronted him and everyone else including racism plus the very subject of personal identity (Ellison 61). He also includes our frustrated desire to establish ourselves in a planet which is figuratively blind. His hero in this work is invisible with the mainstream culture as he is black, though his feelings can effortlessly be comprehended by those who go through the anonymity of modern era. It is the purpose of this paper to compare and contrast aspects from the tale to the life of the author. Most importantly, a critical discussion is provided on similarities that are fictionalized in the narrative that parallel the author’s life.
The novels’ narrator or the invisible man is symbolic of many brilliant young African-Americans of his era. With the assumption that many are blind and cannot appreciate him for his values and achievements in life, the storyteller decides to use the title “invisible man.” Having been born and brought up in the South, the invisible man is portrayed as a star scholar at a college for black students. In fact, he hopes for racial uplift via humility plus had work; a common doctrine preached in institutions in addition to the wider Southern culture. As a matter of fact, his aspiration to get away from the limits of race makes him to be renaissance gentleman. It is important noting that such conception serves as a grounding force in his entire life. Reflecting on the readings, it is understandable that the protagonist communicates the transition from raw southern youth to disillusioned northern liberationist (Allen 23). This included a personal voyage from sightlessness to revelation plus the pilgrimage from blameless persons to established destiny-driven determinism. His sense of self to dream remains strong, despite the challenges experienced in the Southwest.
The narrator’s collision with a world that did not want to recognize his existence plus the incumbent bruises and blackouts lead him to harbors of isolation. One can deduce that isolation changes his way of thinking, thus making him observe blindness in other people. After his innocent idealism gets him in mess, he understands the double standards behind the institution’s acclaimed philosophy (Ellison 94). In contrast, we know that the author benefitted from public’s welfare. In essence, Ellison never experienced the world in such a crude manner the protagonist did. Perhaps, he was lucky to come from a rather well-to-do family because his dad was an accomplished person having served overseas in the military. In addition, his mother was engaged in politics and possibly she was enlightened.
Indeed, after the author’s father died, his mum supported him and his brother through working in domestic jobs. It is worth contemplating that the aforesaid factors reveal that the author’s life variably contrasted with that of the protagonist. Moreover, different examples in the account show how such factors play a critical role in defining how the author’s life contrasted in the life of the central character. However, in terms of comparison, Ellison had to travel later to New York following some confusion over his status of scholarship. Most likely, as portrayed by Ellison, the journey that the invisible man travelled tried to reflect his movement from Tuskegee Institute (Alabama) to New York City (Allen 25).
Indeed, Alabama appeared to be an oppressive place apart from the openness of the territory of his birth. Seasoned in the cultural integration of his birthplace, Ellison lived in blended unity plus understanding with other races including Native Americans, blacks, whites and Jews (Ellison 146). On the whole, his travel from Alabama reflects the narrator’s voyage in the book. Although the author of the book insisted that his work was not biographical in any sense, there appear many contrasting themes plus many similarities between him and his protagonist. Such contrasting themes, which are clearly defined throughout the readings help readers to understand the intended purpose of the narrative at large. The author was born in 1913. This was the era during which Europe was venturing its ravaging First World War.
On the other hand, America was attaining momentum as a considerable intellectual and economic source of prominence and power but scarred by its bitter history of slavery including the ill-fated programme of Reconstruction (O’Meally 67). In reality, Ellison’s grandparents were slaves who managed to slough off the binds of bondage for the wish of sharecropping. They also fed their siblings with the seasoned promises of freedom plus self-determined destinies. In the same way, the author’s parents decided that their siblings would escape the deficiency that characterized their lives. Nevertheless, Ellison’s time in the all-black institute can be compared to narrator’s challenges in his personal voyage from sightlessness to revelation plus the pilgrimage from blameless persons to established destiny-driven determinism. Without a doubt, such comparison is wide ranging and comprises various events taking place between the two identities.
In particular, Ellison’s determination to be accepted is palpable in the book. We know that although race was not spoken in the institute, Ellison noted that money screamed it. In fact, he was perplexed at the class consciousness that separated those who were financially...
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