Power Struggles

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' Antigone. In the novel Invisible Man, the narrator breaks free from the stereotypes and other oppressions set forth by his society. In Othello, Iago escapes his natural role as Othello's standard bearer to avenge himself. In Antigone, Antigone separates from the law of mortals to follow divine law. All three of these works illustrate Nietzsche's idea of a will to power, and each break free of their separate constraints to find control.

The narrator of Invisible Man, a black southern male living during the Jim Crow era, struggles with the constraints, stereotypical views, and oppressions set forth by his society. However, as he learns, he is able to remove himself from his oppressive society and remain in seclusion until he comes to understand who he is and the direction in which he should proceed when he reemerges into the world (Ellison 7). From the outset, the narrator realizes that he is being oppressed by the white members of society. One of his supervisors...

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