• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. To destroy a man is difficult, almost as difficult as to create one: pg ...

    This is truly significant because it brings in the meaning of what it is to be a man. This idea of a man is never defined like the rest of the text defines the situations because of the importance of being a man.

  2. Toni Morrison's novel, "Sula", has been hailed by several critics as a remarkable expression ...

    Sula has a birthmark shaped like a rose, and "The Rose Tattoo" is the source of the novel's epigraph. These particular flowers are beautiful and fragrant, even intoxicating. Rochelle intoxicates the young Nel, and Sula intoxicates the many men around her.

  1. Discuss the isolation of the narrator in Ernest Hemingway's In Another Country

    Although he is a soldier, his attitude and behavior tell us that he is a stranger, an outsider to the war. Like other soldiers, he has to experience physical damage (his leg is wounded) but he is not aware this wounded leg is the loss that the war brings to him, just an accident.

  2. Duffy and Donne and their portrayal of the loss of identity

    This highlights the kind of influence an era or society can have on an individual. "My brothers cried, one of them bawling Home", the word "bawling" creates imagery, a noisy chaos, which is eventually mentally recreated by retracing of their roots, their home.

  1. Social Distinction in the novel Pygmalion

    Eliza shows little emotion towards the wager set by Pickering; she merely thanks him for offering to pay for the lessons For Higgins and Pickering the ambassador's ball was a great success. Eliza, on the other hand, had fulfilled her purpose as far as Higgins was concerned.

  2. The sense of an ending in the novel "Of Mice and Men" and how ...

    On the other side, their ?master?'s reaction are different and contradictory: for Candy's dog shooting, someone else had to do it instead of Candy. And just after agreeing to kill his dog, Candy went and ?stared at the ceiling?. And this suggests a need of thinking, of being alone.

  1. The significance of NDeye Toutis identity in Gods Bits of Wood

    the sleeves up above her elbows, she adjusted her skirt and considered her sandals critically. They were too large for her small, well-shaped feet. She lifted her shoulders in resignation and picked a green, polka-dot foulard to wear on her head, knotting it carefully beneath her chin.? [1] Her sophisticated

  2. Stereotyping in Literature - 4 modern American novels concerned with ethnic identity.

    This meaning, of course, may be cynical in nature, it may cause outrage, and it may even shorten explanations because of the "popularity" of the stereotype. But, what often happens is really one of two things: the stereotype may become so exaggerated as to ridicule the very nature of the

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work