Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man". Essay

761 words - 3 pages

From the excerpt "Battle Royal" in Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, Ellison uses the unnamed protagonist to give an in depth illustration of the negative effects of racism and segregation. The unnamed protagonist is propelled from living according to the perceptions of what he believes he is and is trying to survive in a society where he is not supposed to exist none the less, thrive.The Invisible Man's blindness and invisibility is not solely based on his skin color, it is a direct result of the prejudices that he is faced with by the white society. The white community is unable to see past the Invisible Man's skin color, nor are they able to see past the stereotypes of the black man. The white male characters that appear in the excerpt from "battle royal," are influential white males who do not fear anything, rather they are the ones who threaten the weaker races. They purposely torment the black males as a form of entertainment in hopes they would respond in acts of violence, "We snatched and grabbed... 'Leggo, nigger! Leggo!(2381).'" The white males have established their individuality and have the power to change, where as the black male are trapped in desperation to seek change.The Invisible Man's primary reason for being present at the battle of royal is to deliver his speech to the white citizens of his community, with the hope of gaining acceptance, "... I felt that only these men could judge truly my ability (2380)."Invisible Man is forced into participating in the battle before he is permitted to speak. To the black men, Invisible Man is not seen as an educated man; rather he will cause someone else to earn less money. As to the white man, Invisible Man is seen as just another black man. Invisible Man is oblivious to the perception the white man has over him until he is forced into the ring and a glimpse of reality.Invisible Man is catapulted when he sees the image of the white nude female dancer. She is the embodiment of everything Invisible Man cannot have; she is the symbol of white society. Her golden hair is wealth; her place in center stage symbolizes the white person's power and status. Her nakedness...

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