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Symbolism Of Invisibility In Invisible Man English 1 B Essay

2256 words - 10 pages

Ryan Deshazer !1
Michael A. Ryan Deshazer
Professor Gianunzio
English 1B
10 October 2017
Can the Invisible Man Teach Us to See?
It is said that the human eye is one of the most complex physiological mechanisms of the
entire human body; it is the gateway of much of human understanding and human neural
development. What happens if this very critical sense is lost? Of course it would follow it would
be a detriment to the quality of the cognitive development of the blind individual. The world
around the them becomes invisible and, therefore, knowledge in the form of light cannot be
extracted through the eye. This would then in turn lead that person to have a misconstrued
representation of that world. Any notion they may have about it would derive from false
pretenses from their own blind judgement or the judgment of others, may it be right or wrong.
This real-world idea invisibility and blindness is directly analogous to the cause and effect of the
ideology of Racism, as projected by Ralph Ellison in his novel Invisible Man. Ellison plays with
this idea of invisibility and blindness in that racial ideology is a handicap that plagues all society,
especially that of which was rampant during nineteen thirties America amongst the southern and
northern states. Those who upheld this ideology were inflicted with a form of blindness,
according to Ellison. This in turn conforms them to see the world not for what it really is,
consequently rendering the world invisible to them of its true nature and the blind senseless, pun-
intended. Throughout his narrative, Invisible Man, the motifs of blindness and invisibility go
Ryan Deshazer !2
hand in hand to further Ralph Ellison’s rhetoric on the explanation of where and of how racism
affects the racist as well as its results on the individuality of victim of prejudice.
Ellison creates a metaphorically rich prologue where we can see him demonstrate his
ideas of blindness and invisibility in relation to racism as soon as we meet up with our newly
introduced and unnamed narrator. Learning about the narrator, we find out he steals energy from
the monopolated light and power company and sets up stunning bright lights encompassing his
entire basement hideout in order to bath himself in light. The concept of light is also introduced
here and it plays an integral role when discussing the ideas of blindness and invisibility within
Invisible Man. He wishes to utilize this light to see himself clearly, see the truth, and to not cloud
his perception of self with outside opinion and racial generalization. Ellison explains this
relationship of light and invisibility and blindness saying, “Without light I am not only invisible,
but formless as well” (Ellison 7). This quote can possibly be the one quote that righteously sums
the entire book in one beautiful sentence. Light here in this context, comes to represent truth and
knowledge. He explains without the truth and knowledge it is impossible to view him for what
he really is. He...

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