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In the novel "Invisible man", by Ralph Ellison there is a central focus of identity and race.

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Introduction

Anisha Patel Pelizzoni English 3 IB March 29, 2012 Race or Identity? In the novel Invisible man, by Ralph Ellison there is a central focus of identity and race. The narrator remains nameless through the entirety of the novel and detaches himself from reality. Although he is separated from the surrounding world, he is able to give insight on a vivid journey, in search for his identity and acceptance of his race. The invisible man is na�ve yet he is innocent and only lives to experience life to its fullest. While he is searching for himself he faces a copious amount of societal experiences. These experiences force him to create an identity of an African American, created by the powerful people around him. He attempts to create his identity however is stricken by the powerful, racist society surrounding him. The focus of the novel is identity; the narrator blindly assumes his identity by what people make of him, not what he makes of himself. ...read more.

Middle

The identity in the mirror is only what the narrator sees, by creating another identity he is not only lying to himself he is lying to everyone around him. The superior white men are able to view the part of the narrator that is clearly connected to the white mans life. The identity that is blinded is one that is insignificant. Bledsoe, a president of the narrator's college, saw the invisible man, as a threat to his job, despite he is there to learn and grow. Bledsoe makes the invisible man feel as if he has no purpose in the working world, and if he were to create a life for himself it would be for the empowering men above him. The narrator goes through rebirth and "had thought of myself as a man and here with a few words he'd made me as helpless as an infant" (Ellison 142) because Bledsoe had taken his pride, but more importantly his manliness. ...read more.

Conclusion

At the very end of the novel he has created his identity through acceptance. He knows that his true identity is being invisible and living life for himself and not being controlled by the white supremacy or the overpowering black men. Despite the narrators doubt through his journey, he has come to the conclusion that his true identity is invisibility. He is mistaken by all the false identities and his experiences only blinded him from the truth. Through the tough, racist societal changes the narrator is able create a identity for himself. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said "to be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." The invisible man faces this and is restricted from accomplishing great things because he is looking for identity and avoiding race. Although this is difficult he manages to fight through the rough journey and achieves what he was initially looking for. The majority of the novel deals with the evolution of identity and the role race has on this change. 1 Patel ...read more.

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