Existentialism In Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man

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What is existentialism? It can be described as a philosophy concerned with finding oneself and the meaning of their life through experiences, beliefs, or truth. In Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, the narrator undergoes existentialism throughout the novel, whether he knows it or not. Also, the novel expresses the idea of existentialism in the narrator’s life journey to find the truth. The most undeniable progression towards his own identity occurred in the beginning of chapter thirteen. “ I walked along, munching the yam, just as suddenly overcome by an intense feeling of freedom-simply because I was eating while walking along the street.” Every incident the narrator went through gradually changes his personality and perception. In addition,…show more content…
In chapter nine, he began to have a slight connection with Peter the blue’s man while they were discussing who the narrator was. What the blue’s man was trying to tell the narrator was that if he was in control of his life or is someone in control of his. When the blue’s man started singing, it was the first time the narrator began to have an appreciation of the strength of his own heritage and culture. Another connection happened in chapter twelve when the narrator was talking with Mary Rambo about his future. The discussion of his former desire to become an educator was the leftovers of his past dream. Mary states that, “whatever it is, I hope it’s something that’s a credit to the race.” She talks about how it’s the young southern folks that’s going to make the changes. Mary tell’s the narrator that he has to lead and fight to move the race a little higher. Soon, the narrator applies what he learns when he witnesses an eviction of an old married couple in chapter thirteen. He sympathizes with them and felt ashamed to witness the eviction. The narrator seizes his opportunity to speak while the gathered crowd listened. His forceful speech attempted to strike a balance between following what’s right and indicating that the law itself is

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