the invisible man

Topics: Mind, Fiction, Psychology, Narrative, Perception, Narratology / Pages: 1 (339 words) / Published: Sep 18th, 2014
lalalalallalalalalalalalalalalalalaalalalalalalalalalala. Because Invisible Man is a bildungsroman (a type of novel that chronicles a character’s moral and psychological growth), the narrative and thematic concerns of the story revolve around the development of the narrator as an individual. Additionally, because the narrator relates the story in the first person, the text doesn’t truly probe the consciousness of any other figure in the story. Ironically, though he dominates the novel, the narrator remains somewhat obscure to the reader; most notably, he never reveals his name. The names that he is given in the hospital and in the Brotherhood, the name of his college, even the state in which the college is located—these all go unidentified. The narrator remains a voice and never emerges as an external and quantifiable presence. Tter 1, for instance, the narrator accepts his scholarship from the brutish white men with gladness and gratitude. Although he passes no judgment on the white men’s behavior, the men’s actions provide enough evidence for the reader to denounce the men as appalling racists. While the narrator can be somewhat unreliable in this regard, Ellison makes sure that the reader perceives the narrator’s blindness.
Further, because the narrator supposedly writes his story as a memoir and not while it is taking place, he also comes to recognize his former blindness. As a result, just as a division exists between Ellison and the narrator, a division arises between the narrator as a narrator and the narrator as a character. Ellison renders the narrator’s voice as that of a man looking back on his experiences with greater perspective, but he ensures that the reader sees into the mind of the still-innocent character. He does so by having the narrator recall how he perceived of events when they happened rather than offer commentary on these events with the benefit of hindsight.
The narrator’s innocence prevents him from recognizing the truth behind others’

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