Ralph Ellison Essays

Invisible Man

Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man is the story of an educated black man who has been oppressed and controlled by white men throughout his life. As the narrator, he is nameless throughout the novel as he journeys from the South, where he studies at an...

Invisible Man

How can a commonplace item such as food entail such profound meanings? How can the incorporation of symbols dealing with food into a novel discussing personal identity and invisibility be possible? Ralph Ellison's novel, Invisible Man, manages not...

Invisible Man

"Now this is the Law of the Jungle---as old and as true as the sky/

And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die."

~Rudyard Kipling, "The Law of the Jungle" [i]

In his novel "The Invisible Man" Ralph Ellison...

Invisible Man

Fredrick Nietzsche, a renowned German philosopher, believed that one of the strongest governing drives that humans possess is their desire for power. This theme is omnipresent in Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, Shakespeare's Othello, and Sophocles'...

Invisible Man

Epictetus, the Greek Stoic philosopher, said, “First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.” Defining one’s personal identity may coincide with this ancient Stoic principle, but what is not mentioned is the human...

Invisible Man

Far from serving peripheral and stereotypical roles, the women who appear in Invisible Man are indirectly involved in teaching IM the lessons he must learn to advance in his journey of self-discovery and to succeed in his reemergence into the...

12th Grade

Invisible Man

Almost all people do battle with the notion that, try as they may, the things they do remain overlooked by others. They feel unseen, as if belonging to a story where they’re just background characters. Or rather, some people care not about their...

12th Grade

Invisible Man

Throughout Invisible Man there are recurring images of waves and rhythms, which create a reality in which everything has its own frequency and wavelength. This concept operates as an underlying theme, which once examined is revealed to play into...