Ellison's Invisible Man The Classic Term Paper

Length: 8 pages Sources: 2 Subject: Literature Type: Term Paper Paper: #37408812 Related Topics: Great Expectations, Stereotyping, Stereotype, Manifest Destiny
Excerpt from Term Paper :

According to his benefactor his case, represents, my dear Mr. Emerson, one of the rare delicate instances in which one for whom we held great expectations has gone grievously astray, and who in his fall threatens to upset certain delicate relationships between certain interested individuals and the school. Thus, while the bearer is no longer a member of our scholastic family, it is highly important that his severance with the college be executed as painlessly as possible. I beg of you sir, to help him continue in the direction of that promise which, like the horizon, receded ever brightly and distantly beyond a hopeful traveler." (191)

As he was the inadvertent instigator of a white benefactor of his college being exposed to the ill temper of a black man who teaches there and is apparently capable of truth-telling, the invisible man is dismissed from his beloved school. The manner in which it is done, though it was meant to be kind, was really just a guised way of dismissing him, so he would simply have no recourse. If anyone in the "system" informed him of the situation, as the young Mr. Emerson does, then he must be sworn to secrecy, as it would unsettle the precarious balance between the black educators and their white benefactors, yet again.

The whole of the frame (or, if you will, the whole of the hole) proclaims that the narrative distinction to be drawn between tale and frame is a trope for other distinctions central to Invisible Man, including those between blindness and insight, sleepfulness and wakefulness, sickness and health, social structure and nonstructure, History and history, embodied voice and disembodied voice, and acts of speech and of writing.

Bloom 22)

The invisible man, made his way through the world, believing that he could only change the world if he worked within the white man's rules. "Yessuh, yessuh! Though invisible I would be their assuring voice of denial..." (Ellison 515) He made himself, invisible, but rejected blindness, as he attempted to elicit change. "Why should I worry over bureaucrats, blind men? I am invisible." (528) the destiny," the veteran continues to Norton. "He'll do your bidding and for that his blindness is his chief asset" (IM, 87 -88). The descent as they leave is not just the descent from the quiet room into the chaos of the barroom brawl but, metaphorically, into the chaos of real life, the reality that denies the myth of upward mobility. It is the motif of the descent into humanity that adumbrates IM's later descent into himself. But Norton refuses to hear as he has refused to see. The appeal to recognize the humanity involved arouses only his anger. And the narrator runs after him, afraid of getting into trouble with the school authorities.

Bloom 227)

The eventual message of the veterinarian, as they meet on a bus and the narrator learns that he was also expelled from his post at the school is one that echoes his grandfather's opening words. Learn the rules and live within them, while still maintaining understanding of yourself and the world. The individual black man must understand himself, be wise to the world and live invisible to keep himself safe.

He tells IM, "Play the game but don't believe in it.... Play the game but play it your own way." This seems an echo of his grandfather's deathbed statement in the language of the next generation. The veteran continues, "Learn how it operates, learn how you operate.... Be your own father, young man. And remember the world is possibility if only you'll discover it" (IM, 137 -39).However, the narrator continues his journey north with his "mind laced up." Truth for IM will come only after he asks himself the same question.

Bloom 227)

The dream can only be realized, for a black man if he, to a certain degree embraces the stereotypes and lives within the system, to which he was born. The problem for the narrator is a message of the universal problem of any black man.

Works Cited

Bloom, Harold Ed.. Ralph Ellison's…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Bloom, Harold Ed.. Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 1999.

Ellison, Ralph Invisible Man. New York, Vintage Books, 1995.

Cite this Document:

"Ellison's Invisible Man The Classic" (2007, August 12) Retrieved October 21, 2021, from

"Ellison's Invisible Man The Classic" 12 August 2007. Web.21 October. 2021. <

"Ellison's Invisible Man The Classic", 12 August 2007, Accessed.21 October. 2021,

Related Documents
Ralph Ellison Was the Grandson of Slaves.
Words: 580 Length: 2 Pages Topic: Literature Paper #: 10637311

Ralph Ellison was the grandson of slaves. He was born in Oklahoma in 1914, where he was also raised (Tulsa). He developed a love for jazz music at a very young age, and Ellison maintained a circle of friends that included many jazz musicians. He studied two instruments - the coronet, and the trumpet, with intentions of becoming a "jazz man" himself. He studied music at the prominent black

Ralph Ellison's Short Story Battle Royal
Words: 995 Length: 3 Pages Topic: Literature Paper #: 79857825

Battle Royal short analysis of the major theme found in Ellison's Battle Royal, supported by a literary criticism dealing with the tone and style of the story. Ralph Ellison's short story, Battle Royal, is mainly an account of the African-American struggle for equality and identity. The narrator of the story is an above average youth of the African-American community [Goldstein-Shirlet, 1999]. He is given an opportunity to give a speech to some

Postmodernist Literature Discuss the Representation
Words: 3083 Length: 9 Pages Topic: Mythology - Religion Paper #: 82448769

Yarbrough quotes Ihab Hassan, who describes postmodernism as the "literature of silence" in that it "communicates only with itself," a reference that initially astounds the rational mind. Then, reading further in Yarbrough, Hassan is quoted as saying the term postmodernism applies to "a world caught between fragments and wholes, terror and totalitarianism of every kind." In Vonnegut's novel, characters reflect the deconstruction of American society in the 1950s, during the

Alienation People at Odds With Society
Words: 2320 Length: 8 Pages Topic: Literature Paper #: 76717904

Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison. Specifically, it will contain a brief biography of the author; address the topic of alienation as it pertains to the work, and include some critical reviews of the novel. Many critics consider novelist Ralph Ellison's "The Invisible Man" a classic in American literature, and a treatise on how blacks have been treated by white society throughout the decades. His story is a tale of

Invisibility As an Escape From
Words: 3682 Length: 12 Pages Topic: Black Studies Paper #: 5001776

The oppressed then became their own oppressors, judging themselves on the high class standards of life. Through their own regulation, high class norms were used to judge each other on the basis of financial stability, female morality, Christian ideology, and so forth. They upheld unrealistic standards when one looked at the condition of life many within the lower classes were forced to endure. No matter how much they grew

Slave Narratives to Middle Class Stories
Words: 7110 Length: 20 Pages Topic: Black Studies Paper #: 31504182

Internal Struggle for Identity and Equality in African-American Literature The story of the African-American journey through America's history is one of heartbreaking desperation and victimization, but also one of amazing inspiration and victory. Any story of the journey that fails to include these seemingly diametric components of the African-American journey is incomplete. However, African-American culture reflects both the progress of the African-American community, its external struggle to achieve equality, and