Invisible man paper

Topics: Invisible Man, Racism, Race and Ethnicity Pages: 2 (824 words) Published: March 23, 2014
“If you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal, you become something else entirely,” said Batman. Bruce Wayne’s identity is strangled because society is so corrupt he feels the need to do something, like the invisible man. Society’s idea of Bruce Wayne is that he is an irresponsible heir to a successful empire. This is why he created the Batman, because society wouldn’t see Bruce Wayne as a hero. This is similar to the Invisible man, because he feels he must do something because society is corrupt. He tries to be many things; one of them acting as Rinehart, who is all things to all people. The Narrator played prescribed roles that limited his intricacy as an individual and forces him to play an inauthentic part. Ralph Ellison asks readers to think about the degree which society strangles an individual identity. He goes on to portray an identity strangled by society through the Invisible man’s job at Liberty Paints, his position in the Brotherhood, and his Rinehart encounters. First, the narrator goes to Liberty Paints, which is a company that achieves financial wealth by selling their most popular paint Optic White. The paint, Optic White, is made by suppressing blackness in the service of a brighter white. When the Narrator walks into Liberty Paints he’s welcomed with a sign saying “Keep America Pure With Liberty Paints” (Ellison 196). He then finds himself involved in a process in which mixing bright paints depend heavily on the black in the mixing process (Ellison 200). Lucius Brockway, the Narrator’s boss, also says “They got all this machinery, buy that ain’t everything, we the machines inside the machine.” (Ellison 217). This represents the racial makeup of the workforce. It explains that society couldn’t get anything done without their slaves. They are doing all the hard work while the whites are taking the credit for our “Great Nation”. The Liberty Paints plant serves as an extended metaphor for racial inequality in...
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