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Paper Topic:

`Invisible Man` by Ralph Ellison

Invisibility and Blindness

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Invisibility and Blindness

Ralph Ellison 's The Invisible Man is beaming with references to race especially the racial indifference experienced by blacks in a society dominated by whites . The

motif of blindness ' or invisibility ' is sketched almost throughout the novel which essentially revolves around the character of the narrator or of the invisible man ' so to speak Ellison 's literary exposure of the character of the narrator is a resounding indication of how blacks are treated in the society and how the dominance of whites greatly affects and distorts their perception of the world

At the onset of the novel , the situation wherein the narrator is compelled to fight in the battle royal ' in the presence of the white superiors watching in a sort of entertainment indicates the initial proof which the novel seeks to highlight . While fighting with other blacks in the form of boxing , the narrator had to endure the challenge of fighting some of his schoolmates as part of the entertainment (p 3

Ironically , it appears that the situation besetting the narrator exemplifies his notion of black humility in to achieve progress even in the appalling face of enjoyment by the white superiors . This signifies the presumption that blacks were treated as some sort of an object of entertainment ' rather than as human beings who should be treated as beings with a sense of dignity and humiliation

The battle royal ' scene indicates that blacks were treated invisibly or blindly by the whites . This is in the sense that they were not seen as human beings who share the same character and emotions such as the whites who fancy the blacks fighting against one another . More to being just another reflection of white supremacy and the subjugation of the blacks under the dictates of whites , the battle royal scene portrays how whites were blinded by their belief that , because they are `supreme ' all because of their color or race , they can treat those who are different from them such as blacks as mere objects that satisfy the needs and wants of whites

Another part of the book which showcases the motif of blindness or invisibility is the part where the narrator accidently brings Mr . Norton before the house of Jim Trueblood , a black man who impregnated Mr Norton 's daughter , as part of his task to tour the rich white trustee around the grounds . The fact that Jim lived in a log cabin ' in the college outskirts after bringing disgrace upon the black community (p 32 ' indicates the presumption that his actions came at a price he had to pay . The fact that there was an apparent distance which...

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