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This Essay Is Entitled "The Search For Self Awareness". It Is An Essay About The Book "The Invisible Man" And How The Author's Views Change Once He Reaches Self Awareness.

1565 words - 6 pages

The Search for Self-AwarenessIn Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, the narrator's hopes and dreams alter every time he becomes a new self. I believe that this book is written entirely on the basis of how he is searching for his own identity and in order to find it; he has to have awareness of himself and of the world. Everyone wears a mask and in someway is not true to themselves, let alone to other people. However, human awareness allows you to see past their mask and phoniness. In this book, when the narrator recognizes how he has reached self-awareness, he is finally able to understand his own identity and the environment around him.The first type of awareness is when the narrator refuses to believe that white men are anything but superior human beings. He has not yet experienced their exploitations or their cruelty. He tends to worship and adore groups or individuals of high rankings. For example, in the battle royal, he did not care to think of how humiliating it was, and instead he thought of it as a title of honor to participate in such event. He is "overjoyed" and does "not even mind when [he] discover[s] that the gold pieces [he] had scrambled for were brass pocket tokens" (32). Because he has never felt any type of racism in his life, he does not understand that they were making an entertainment out of him. He is partially blind by still worshiping the individuals in high positions, even after witnessing their cruelty first hand. This is the first stage where he got a glimpse of the "real" world out there. Another example was where Dr. Bledsoe becomes angry with the narrator for taking Mr. Norton to Trueblood's house. The narrator cannot believe that he got in trouble for taking orders from a high ranking individual. By being honest and truthful, he gets expelled from his school and was forced into looking for a job. He asks, "Lie, sir? Lie to him, lie to a trustee, sir? Me?" (139). He cannot believe that he has to lie and be conceiving in order to not get in trouble. The narrator has now been shown the more evil part of the world. He is aware to the point where he understands that the higher ranked individuals only want to play around with him. In addition, they have no respect for him. His innocent mind caused him to destroy his ultimate goal of becoming another "Mr. Bledsoe". "The only trouble with ambition is that it sometimes blinds one to realities..." (184). The narrator, not realizing he has to play tricks of his own in order to survive, lead him to his blindness of his self. And this blindness keeps him "running" (33) until he cannot handle anymore and blows up. In my own life, I had always believed in everything my parents had told me. I wanted to be just like them and imitate their every ways. I would trust them no matter what I had to go through. My parents had kept me sheltered and had not let me open my eyes until I started to attend high school. Although I still trust them, I learned that I needed to have an opinion of my own...

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