Preview
Preview

Invisible Man Essay: Inner, Outer, and Other Direction

:: 1 Works Cited
Length: 1560 words (4.5 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Blue      
Open Document




- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Inner, Outer, and Other direction in Invisible Man


Ralph Ellison wrote his novel, Invisible Man, in an attempt to open our eyes.  Ellison created his nameless character, the Invisible Man, in order to establish a medium for the message of the novel.  It is the opinion of this student that if one chooses to further examine the protagonist character, then she or he can better understand the themes behind Ellison's narrative.  As one analyzes the novel, he or she soon recognizes a number of predominant character traits that can be associated with the Invisible Man.  This student was fortunate enough to experience a lesson of that which the characteristics of inner, outer, and other direction were discussed.  Once an understanding of concepts from the lesson was established, the assessment of Ellison's work became less painful.  The characteristics are simple. Inner simply represents an individual's self-motivation for taking an action.  Outer represents an individual's attempt to please others in the actions the he or she takes, and other signifies an individuals attempts to emulate those around him.  The protagonist in Invisible Man displays each characteristic during the course of the novel, but two dominate his mindset and eventually aid in formulating Ellison's theme.  This scholar will attempt to examine each characteristic in the following paragraphs, and it is hoped that the reader will attain a better understanding of the novel itself. 

The inner character attribute is nearly non-existent in the Invisible Man.  This, for the most part, can be contributed to ideologies that the character feels compelled to adopt during the span of the novel.  Although the content of each ideology differs, there are a number of const...


... middle of paper ...


...imply reveal himself to society, combined with his persistence to act the part of another, prevents for true self identification.  As with Bledsoe, Ellison's protagonist remains lost and unfulfilled. 

Ellison successfully creates a character capable of expressing inner, outer, and other direction, but often choosing only the latter two.  The lack of inner direction renders the Invisible Man incapable of establishing himself.  The ideologies and principles presented by others never reflected the narrator's true beliefs, and throughout the novel, he struggled to contour his mind and heart to their demands.  Ironically, the reader is faced with the dismal fact that despite the narrator's abilities, he remains just the same as he was presented in the first chapter.  He is a man without an identity. 

Works Cited:

Ellison, Ralph. Invisible Man New York: 1952.


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Essay about The Invisible Man - Every day, racism is perceived as a negative aspect of society. When people think of racism, they obviously think of hatred, ignorance and bigotry. Racism has been a part of world culture since recorded history and, no doubt, before then. When one thinks of racism in the United States, invariably, though not only, the struggle of the African American is singled out. In Ralph Ellison’s novel, Invisible Man, Ellison expounds the theme that American society willfully ignores and oppresses African Americans....   [tags: book]
:: 1 Works Cited
977 words
(2.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Invisible Man Essay - Equality between individuals is a primary step to prosperity under a democracy. However, does this moral continue to apply among differences and distinct characters of the total population. In the novel, Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison, the protagonists suffers from the lack of acknowledgement guaranteed to African Americans in both the North and South regions of North America during the early 1900s. The Narrator expresses the poignant problems that blacks face as he travels to the North. An anti-hero is created on his voyage of being expelled from college, earning a job at Liberty Paints, and joining the organization group called Brotherhood....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Ralph Ellison] 2660 words
(7.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Invisible Man - Invisible to White Society Essay -           The reason I chose," THE INVISIBLE MAN, "is because the black man in this story symbolizes the black the black man in society which is set up to fail. He is used, humiliated, and discriminated against through the whole book. He feels that he is invisible to society because society does not view him as a real person. Reading this book was very difficult, because the book was written in first person singular. I had to think hard on my opinion of Ellison's underlining message in this book....   [tags: Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man] 530 words
(1.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Invisible Man Essay: Ethics and Invisible Man - Ethics and Invisible Man   The issue of ethics is central to the theme of The Invisible Man.  This essay will examine the ethical issues presented in Ellison's novel in the context of Kenneth Strike's "Principle of Equal Respect".   In one incident Invisible Man is in his third year at a Negro college and is regarded by the President, Dr. Bledsoe, as bright and trustworthy, a young man who has potential. Dr. Bledsoe assigns him to drive a prominent trustee, Mr. Norton, on a tour of the vicinity....   [tags: Invisible Man Essays]
:: 2 Works Cited
914 words
(2.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Invisible Man Essay: Self-Identity in Invisible Man - Self-Identity in Invisible Man       In the novel, Invisible Man, the main character carries around a briefcase throughout the entire story. All of the possessions that he carries in that briefcase are mementos from learning experiences. Throughout the novel, the Invisible Man is searching for his identity and later discovers that his identity is in those items. As the narrator is leaving Mary's house for the Brotherhood, he sees a Negro-doll bank in his room. He is angry that the doll is holding a sign that read, "Feed me." "For a second I stopped, feeling hate charging up within me, then dashed over and grabbed it, suddenly as enraged by the tolerance of lack of discrimination, or w...   [tags: Invisible Man Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
1055 words
(3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Invisible Man Essay: Values of the Invisible Man - 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....   [tags: Invisible Man Essays]
:: 4 Works Cited
1283 words
(3.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on The Invisible Man by HG Wells - The Invisible Man by HG Wells Griffin - Wells goes in great detail about the way Griffin (the Invisible Man) looks and acts. He writes about Griffin's bad temper and his evil scheme of stealing money and food to survive as an invisible man. He makes the character, Griffin, realistic because his emotions, like expressing his anger through shouting, are something people are familiar with. Griffin was quick to anger by the taking of drugs and stimulants. What may have begun as quick temper and impatience turns into violent rage and a wish to commit murder....   [tags: The Invisible Man HG Wells] 1489 words
(4.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Deceived Invisible Man Essay - In the Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison, our main character struggles to find his place in society. Throughout the novel, he finds himself in "power-struggles". At the beginning of the novel, we see the narrator as a student in an African-American college. He plays a large role in the school as an upstanding student. Later, we see the Invisible Man once again as an important member of an organization known as the Brotherhood. In both situations he is working, indirectly, to have a place in a changing world of homogony....   [tags: Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man] 726 words
(2.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Invisible Man Essay - One obvious theme that I picked up when I read Invisible Man was the theme of invisibility. I think the theme of invisibility has different meanings to it. One meaning is that invisibility suggests the unwillingness of others to see the individual as a person. The narrator is invisible because people see in him only what they want to see, not what he really is. Invisibility, in this meaning, has a strong sense of racial prejudice. White people often do not see black people as individual human beings....   [tags: Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man] 624 words
(1.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Invisible Man Essay - Ellison's book, Invisible Man was written in the 1930s. It deals with the identity of a black man in white America. The narrator writes in first person, emphasizing his individual experience and events portrayed; though the narrator and the main character remain anonymous throughout the book, they go by the name Invisible Man. The character decides that the world is full of blind people and sleep walkers who cannot see him for who he really is, thus he calls himself the Invisible Man, though he is not truly invisible, it is just a refusal for others to see him....   [tags: Book Review Ralph Ellison Invisible Man] 1363 words
(3.9 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]