Ralph Ellison in his novel, “Invisible Man” addresses vital aspects societal practices and beliefs of the past generations. The novel gives a personal account of the influencing factors of his writing life. Ralph Ellison focused on features of a diverse society. He addresses myths and literature, thematic issues, literal influence, moral and social roles of literature, and literature as protest. These give the novel a strong diction that interests the readers. Just like any other novel addresses certain themes, “Invisible Man” highlights the plight of marginalized beings and societal aspects. This paper seeks to give an analysis of Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man”.
On a close analysis of the novel, Ralph Ellison portrays aspirations in the society. The novel cites the role that literature plays in the society. Ellison’s novel details the community’s activities perceived as bad and good in their own society’s lenses. The novel however, leaves room for the readers to support or reject the documented views on the societal aspects of the marginalized groups. On a critical analysis, the book has offered a platform for the readers to criticize the thematic concerns addressed in the novel. Ellison documents the influence of literature in the society. The novel details arguments on the perspectives of the society on literature.
Ellison asserts that one can look and perceive a society through artistic work and give general conclusions on the same. I agree with this stance because the community voice is entirely dependent on the literature work of artists concerning particular community. Ralph Ellison gave an optimistic view of the Negro folklores as equally important in the society. This is opposed to what was the historical culture of the White community on the perception about the American folklores (p. 76). From these assertions, it is evident that what people are not able to handle is rationalized. Ellison reveals that attitude towards literature depends on what is perceived as right or wrong.
In my personal account, the white folklores had an undeserving pessimistic attitude towards the marginalized in the society, and Ralph Ellison has detailed this quite well in his novel. In an interpretation of the assertions in the novel, the societal perceptions and myths are absolutely right in the eyes of that particular society. Ellison in his novel “Invisible Man” argues that culture of the society is defined by its literature. Pieces of literature reflect and mirror the societal culture. This gives room for readers to air artistic criticism. Social criticism in this novel establishes societal precepts in the ears of the readers. Ellison also gives an opportunity in his novel for other artists to examine the society through his writing.
Conclusively, in my opinion, Ellison’s arguments in the novel has a great influence in what the society perceives as right or wrong. This can be witnessed in instances where Ellison illustrates that the white community does not like the idea that myths are not wrong (p. 56). Ellison goes ahead to address the societal moral chores and asserts that every society has the ability to air their views via literature. This to me is in order because on a general note, the societal perspective is often bent towards the criticism received by the society.
Ellison, Ralph. Invisible Man, New York: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2010. Print.