Blog 7

May 17th, 2011

Ralph Ellison’s The Invisible Man was a great final book to wrap our class up our class “Techniques of the Observer” because it discussed the idea visibility and invisibility through a fictional story based on a historical American time. The narrator of the book experienced a constant struggle with visibility and his own identity, something even modern readers could relate to.

In the “The Art of Fiction: An Interview” with Ralph Ellison, he explains regarding his narrator: “The major flaw in the hero’s character is his unquestioning willingness to do what is required of him by others as a way to success, and this was the specific form of his ‘innocence.’ He goes where he is told to go; he does what he is told to do he does not even choose his Brotherhood name” (178).  The narrator was “invisible” for most of the book because he was playing the role in which he believed he was meant to play. He had the leadership quality within him, but it could not be expressed to his full potential because he was holding himself back. The fact that he doesn’t even get to choose his new name reflects his invisibility and ability to be manipulated by others. He was only seen as a tool to the Brotherhood, and when he realizes “All boundaries down, freedom was not only the recognition of necessity, it was the recognition of possibility” (499), he realizes that he has been invisible and his identity has been hidden. At the end of the novel when the narrator is “…free of illusion…” (569), is when he is able to break free from the identity that is given to him and becomes visible and accepts his true identity. The narrator proclaims that he is “Fully awake now…(570) and the darkness turned into light (569), he is finally free and visible.

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One Response to “Blog 7”

  1. pediatric dentist fort worth on November 7, 2015 12:28 am

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    Blog 7 at Cassie’s Senior Seminar Blog

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