King Of The Fall: The Invisible Man By Ralph Ellison

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Sydnei Young Mrs. Bass Humanities- 3rd Block 17 Nov. 2014 King of the Fall Cultural critic Edward Said declared that alienation or exile are both “unhealable rifts” and an “enriching experience”. These two statements are definitely a contradiction, yet they still somehow go together. In the novel the Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison describes this distressing and heartbreaking occurrence through the novel’s main character, who is identified as the narrator. Although exiled, the narrator experiences understanding his social identity and seeking approval from his social groups. Throughout the novel, the narrator goes through many cycles searching for his identity. One of his first cycles was college. As an honor roll student, the narrator acquires…show more content…
He finds himself by going through many cycles and setbacks in his journey to finding an occupation. In the beginning of the novel, the narrator feels as if people do not know he exists when he says “I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me” (Ellison 3). Throughout the novel, the narrator met strange people who are identified as his friend’s that make him more prominent in Harlem. Those same friends do not benefit him. Literary Analyst Hamlet Pericles states that “the young narrator does not know how to play the dual identity, for he does not know his true identity and individuality, causing the white men to take advantage of his passivity” (Pericles, Literary Analysis Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison). The narrator goes through an identity crisis as he becomes famous. He feels as if he is going against himself and becomes aware there are two of him when he says “the old self that slept a few hours a night and dreamed of my grandfather and Bledsoe and Brockway and Mary and the new public self that spoke at the Brotherhood and was becoming more important” (Ellison 380). The narrator’s search for his identity becomes a major crisis as he becomes conflicted with thoughts Dr. Bledsoe and becoming a puppet. He cannot handle why he feels as if he is two different people, one being the self-observant and forever pleasing and the other an opinionated mature young male commander. This ultimate display of self-identity crisis and seeking approval from higher officials illustrates that the narrator’s strength and mindset throughout the entirety of the novel was merely just a failing effort to improve his self. In the final pages of the novel, the narrator starts to realize he does not know what he has been doing this whole time with the Brotherhood, which is a communist party for Negroes and formally took him in.

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