Invisible Man

What America Would Be Like Without Women: An Analysis of the Trafficking of Women in Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man

In his essay ÃÂÂWhat America Would Be Like Without Blacks,ÃÂ? Ralph Ellison argues that ÃÂÂThe nation could not survive being deprived of their [the NegroÃÂÂs] presence because, by the irony implicit in the dynamics of American democracy, they symbolize both its most stringent testing and the possibility of its greatest human freedom.ÃÂ? While EllisonÃÂÂs novel Invisible Man makes the struggle for social equality visible through the narrative of an ÃÂÂinvisibleÃÂ? black man in order to demonstrate this point, what about the women in the text whose characters often seem invisible or underdeveloped? Although EllisonÃÂÂs own perspective on the so-called ÃÂÂWoman QuestionÃÂ? is ambiguous given his virtual silence on gender equality in his essays and interviews, the novelÃÂÂs female characters ÃÂ" particularly white female characters ÃÂ" illuminate how the majority in American democracy marginalizes, uses, and sacrifices certain groups of people, particularly women and racial minorities. In fact, despite the lack of development of the female characters who appear to play relatively minor roles in Invisible Man, EllisonÃÂÂs problematization of American democracy ÃÂ" like the protagonist, hereafter referred to as ÃÂÂI...

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