Invisible Man Essay: Shedding Fear

974 words - 4 pages

Shedding Fear in Invisible Man

 
    Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison explores the issues of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness through the protagonist; Invisible Man. Invisible Man is not giving a name.  Ellison explores how unalienable rights cannot be obtained without freedom from the obstacles in life - especially from one's own fears.

 

Several major characters affect the protagonist. One of the major characters is Dr. Bledsoe, who is the president of the school.  Dr. Bledsoe had a major effect on the main character, because the Protagonist idolizes him.  "He was every thing that I hope to be," (Ellison 99), but the Dr. Bledsoe degrades him when we says "Why, the dumbest black bastard in the cotton patch knows that the only way to please a white man is to tell him a lie" (Emerson 137) and calls him a Nigger.  In addition, the Protagonist grandfather had a major effect on him. 

 

The Protagonist's grandfather last word, "Live in the Lions mouth" (Ellison 16) has a lasting effect on him throughout most of the novel.  Finally and most important, Ras the Destroyer, whom the Protagonist fears whom along with Dr. Bledsoe in a separate encountering calls him "a educated fool" (Ellison 140). 

 

The first encounter of the Protagonist own fears is introduce when his grandfather' s tells the Protagonist to go against the white man by "overcome 'em with yeses" (Emerson 16).  These words haunts the Protagonist when he is kicked out getting kicked out of college.  When Dr. Bledsoe kicks him out of college, the Protagonist reflects on his grandfather last words "undermine 'em with grins, agree 'em to death^"(Emerson 16).  For a moment, the Protagonist wonders if his grandfather might be right.  However, due to the Protagonist fear of failure, the Protagonist doubts his grandfather wise words, because he does not want to believe that his role in life is to undermine the white man.  So, the Protagonist convinces himself that the Dr. Bledsoe and the school is right and goes to New York.  The second encounter, in which the Protagonist reveals his fear and not being accepted, is in the Battle Royal.  The Battle Royal is a boxing match involving nine other African American boys who have to fight until the last man is standing.  The protagonist endures this degrading act as ploy, so that he can be able to read his speech, in the hope of impressing the elite white men of the town.  The Protagonist fear of not being looked upon as an uneducated cause him to be the subject of a brutal beating, which knocks him out and torturous electrical shocking.  In addition, the Protagonist fear of not being acceptance is his denial of being a "Negro".

 

 The Protagonist encounter with Dr. Bledsoe exemplifies his denial.  The Protagonist looks up to Dr. Bledsoe as a model of what he...

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