Invisible Man

Invisibility within Invisible Man 12th Grade

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 impact, instead simply wishing for the world to notice and acknowledge them for who they really are instead of how they seem from a distance, if even then. Universally, people feel invisible on some level. In his novel Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison explores this idea of invisibility and how it shapes his characters' actions, thoughts, and motivations. This notion of invisibility spurs the narrator on at many different parts of the book, allowing for him to push forward and do all he can to be seen by the white man, but it also leads to some of his largest pitfalls and holds him back by creating a false identity in him. His choice to mold himself for the white man’s world often hurts him, and he is not enlightened until he truly acknowledges that the only way to be visible, to exist, is to remain true to oneself.

The story begins simply with an introduction by the narrator. Here he explains, in his own terms, that he is invisible. Of course, he does not mean this literally. Instead, he...

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