The Values of the 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 all-black college, to Harlem where he joins a Communist-like party known as the Brotherhood. Throughout the novel, the narrator is on a search for his true identity. Several letters are given to him by outsiders that provide him with a role: student, patient, and a member of the Brotherhood. One by one he discards these as he continues to grow closer to the sense of his true self. As the novel ends, he decides to hide in an abandoned cellar, plotting to undermine the whites. The entire story can be summed up when the narrator says "I'm an invisible man and it placed me in a hole- or showed me the hole I was in...." During the novel, the narrator values several important things which shape his identity as well as his future. Through his experiences and the people he has met, the narrator discovers the important values of his education, his invisibility, and the meaning of his grandfather's advice.
From the very beginning of the novel the narrator values his...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 1025 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 7911 literature essays, 2224 sample college application essays, 341 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in