How big of an impact does being invisible to the world have on a person? We see in Ralph Ellison’s, Invisible Man the idea of the narrator as “an invisible man” (3). Throughout the novel we are trying to determine if we can figure out whom invisible man really is seeing as he is given no name, the college he went to is not said and we don’t know the locations of the places he travels other than he goes to Harlem. We are told “I am invisible; understand, simply because people refuse to see me. Like the bodiless heads you see sometimes in circus sideshows, it is as though I have been surrounded by mirrors of hard, distorting glass. When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves or figments of their imagination, indeed, everything and anything except me.” He feels as if he is unimportant to the world and he should just take things as they are given.
We are never given a description of what invisible man could look like other than he is an African American male. The author gives us very little detail of what he looks like to continue giving the impression of an invisible man. He continues by saying, “I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids—and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible; understand, simply because people refuse to see me.” (3) This is a perfect example of how invisible man sees himself and how others view him. The only important thing about his physical description is flesh and bones; we are only told what every human being has in common regardless of gender or race which influences the way he feels about himself. He states that he is not a ghost or a man with transparent skin just that others around him do not accept him for what he really is, only for what they see him as. Being an African American male still going through a racist society did not make things easier for him. On the other hand he did accept things without questioning the actions put against him because he believed that he was...
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