It began with the cries for help, and the struggle for one last breath. They all stare as the man is captured and wrestled to the ground and beaten senselessly all because of the color of his skin. As the yells become louder and the torches are lit the man’s heart begins beating more vigorously. The thought of “will I live? Or shall I die?” comes into question. As they carry the man up on a platform and slide a looped rope around his neck the answer becomes quite clear. The rope then tightens and the man is pushed off of the platform. He is struggling; he begins to picture death as bliss. The last breath he takes he can only say two words “I’m sorry”. We often overlook those that are invisible to society; Ralph Ellison takes us on a real world journey where the average African American man is an unrecognized member of society. Will you stand for the invisible man?
It is my own personal belief that mankind is equal and we all at some point lack recognition for our existence in societies worldwide. First we will analyze what recognition is in a society and how to become acknowledged by those who are around us, secondly begin the fight of recognition but also looking within the irony of being an “invisible man” within the story. Next we will unveil the final light upon being invisible and truly see how to become visible in world that seems nearly impossible.
Recognition is defined by Webster’s dictionary as the acknowledgment of something as valid or as entitled to consideration. "Responsibility rests upon recognition and recognition is a form of agreement," simply gives us the internal conflict of the invisible man. In order to live his life responsibly, he must first be recognized to be living in the first place. He may have feelings of worthlessness, due to the consistency of racial discrimination against him. With the lack of recognition, a man feels less accountable for his actions. As a result, the invisible man begins seeing himself as "one of the most irresponsible beings that ever lived".
(1) The fight for recognition is slowly noticed as people begin to watch the invisible man and his actions. The invisible man says “Their heads once looked the opposite direction of me. Now they watch me as closely as they possibly can as if I have now become an evil power within their society”. Recognition is also defined as the acknowledgment of achievement, service, merit, etc. This situation being the exact opposite, irony is used often in the story to provide answers to the problem of our recognition lacked invisible man.
The biggest irony of all is that the invisible man is obsessed with how blind others are even though he is blind himself. This blindness to see the truth is what holds him back from reaching the full level of recognition from society. Blindness is also a symbol that relates to what the invisible man can actually see and cannot. He can only see what he wants, but when it comes to seeing reality he is blinded. This...