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Racism In Invisible Man Essay

846 words - 3 pages

Racism is perceived as a very negative aspect of society. When most people think of racism, they see hatred, evil, and ignorance. It has always been around since history has been recorded, and probably before that. There are many different forms of racism, but when one thinks of racism in America, they most certainly think of the struggles that the African-Americans have faced for hundreds of years. American literature has been noted for its sometimes controversial, but outspokenness of issues faced by people and minorities. Ralph Ellison is considered one of these authors after his novel Invisible Man. It was published in 1953, before the Civil Rights Movement really got strong. Ellison confronts the various forms of racism in this novel. His works explores a theme that the American society ignores and oppresses African-Americans. Ellison’s work goes beyond just a book and some text, but it is a deeper cry out from an African-American that battled racism himself. Often, people are truly able to find themselves in tough times. The narrator of the story may not have been able to fully find himself throughout his tribulations, but he has pondered life and thought deeper about his true identity. This actually shows a positive element of racism, though subtle, still positive in the fact that the narrator connects more with his inner self. Many of the people and the institution all embody racism throughout the novel. All of these people help the narrator mature intellectually. The narrator battles racism and his self throughout the novel, and attempts to define himself through the expectations of others.
Racism is simply defined as a belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability, and that a particular race is superior. The narrator runs into this at the very beginning of the story as he is walking down the street and bumps into a man. The man says something that the narrator does not like and tries to force an apology out of the man. This is what initiates the first part of racism and the thought of being invisible in the novel. The narrator endures the different types of racism through the different places he visits. Everyone expects something different of him and other African-Americans. This is how he tries finding his inner self and it just confuses him more because everyone wants something different. Another example of this is when the narrator is working for Liberty Paints in New...

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