Invisible Man And Bamboozled Analysis

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When Thomas Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence, he excluded two hugely important groups to the US’s success: African-Americans and women. Throughout history, both groups have been degraded and abused and have had to fight for the equal liberty and freedom that was handed to white men in 1776. Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man follows a young black man as he tries to survive in the 1950’s of New York City after being expelled from a prestigious Southern university. Spike Lee’s Bamboozled shows the creation of a 21st century satirical minstrel show and the numerous racially motivated consequences that follow. Despite different representations and portrayals of female characters in these two works, women in both are overlooked and marginalized…show more content…
Toward the end of the story, the narrator attempts to undermine the Brotherhood by attaining specific information from a wife of one of the important leaders. He settles on Sybil, a white woman who he learns is a self-proclaimed “nymphomaniac” (519). It becomes clear that she is of no use to Invisible Man, but instead wishes for him to fulfill her desire to be raped by a black man. Sybil is entirely characterized by her desire for sex, the lack of sex in her marriage, and her fantasy of being raped. The narrator muses, “but why be surprised, when that’s all they [white women] hear all their lives. When it’s made into a great power and they’re taught to worship all types of power” (520). He sees women “worshipping” this power, but doesn’t connect it to his own situation in vying for a different type of power. The white woman and black man are oblivious to the fact they are stereotyping each other in the exact way they themselves are trying to escape. Finally, at the Golden Day, a brothel that Invisible Man takes a white college benfactor, the black prostitutes are seen as so submissive that they “usually [get] away with things a man never could”…show more content…
All the women of Invisible Man, are single faceted individuals; written to either provide sex or security. The men ignore the humanity of the women they meet, even a black veteran, committed to an insane asylum believes himself, and any other man, to have more importance and power than a woman. He says, “What will be his or any man’s most easily accessible symbol of freedom? Why, a woman, of course. In twenty minutes he can inflate that symbol with all the freedom which he’ll be too busy working to enjoy the rest of the time” (153). The baffling irony of a black man so heavily oppressed by white society imprisoning him, still believing that in turn oppressing and controlling a woman’s body is a liberating experience, and understands no issue with this belief, speaks to just how little is thought of women. The novel is told in the point of view of a black man, and any commentary or narration comes from what he is noticing and deeming important. Invisible Man never looks beyond the stereotypes, which he and other black men ask others to do for them, to see the similarity between white’s oppression of blacks, and men’s oppression of women. In Bamboozled, Sloan is written as an educated, witty, and caring character, yet Manray reduces her down to being judged by her singular, sexual actions. Sloan incessantly declares The New Millennium

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