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The Invisible Man

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The Invisible Man
The author’s grandfather introduces some aspect of moral and emotional ambiguity to the
narrative, leading to the mode of questioning that dominates the entire novel. As the grandfather
issues a confession that he perceives himself as a traitor because of his meekness regarding the
racist structure enduring in the South, it is not clear whom the grandfather feels to have betrayed.
He may have betrayed himself, the family, ancestors, and the generations to come or even the
entire race. Some ambiguity arises from the grandfather’s failure to elaborate, and also in his
direct orders (Ellison, 5). This is evident in that, regarding the self-protection of his family; he
requests them to keep two distinct identities. He wanted them to pretend to be stereotypical good
slaves on the outside as well as to uphold their bitterness and resentment to cover the false
identity. The analysis focuses on the significance of the grandfather regarding the understanding
of the African-American culture.
The implication for the two identities was that the descendants of the grandfather could
internally reject the second class status, guard their self-esteem, and prevent betrayal on one
another. The application of role-playing as a mechanism of subterfuge continues to gain
significance in later sections of the narrative. The mask or role-playing technique introduced by

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Surname 2
the grandfather acts as a defensive tack tick as the rest become aggressive in the attacks against
the individual sense of self (Ellison, 20). Besides, the role-play can be perceived as a
performance art as the grandfather orders his family members to pretend to be good slaves to a
level that the role almost amounts to a parody. This implies that the increased obedience to the
expectations of the Southern Whites turns out to be insidious disobedience. The implication is
that the family members could say yes to the White people to overcome them, but use grins as a
way of undermining them. Thus, the family members could take advantage of the rift between
people’s perceptions and their individual perceptions.
On the contrary, in spite of the warnings of his grandfather, the author still holds that
genuine obedience would help him to gain praise and respect. The White people take advantage
of the narrator’s passivity and compel him to participate in a battle royal which was degrading
and barbaric. This was a further role-playing and accentuation of the pressure between genuine
obedience and some internal rebellion. The act of the author being blind-folded in the ring
somehow implies to the metaphorical blindness of the men as they were watching the fight. The
White men did not view the boys as people but they only saw inferior creatures or even animals.
The concept of the invisible man illustrates the major themes that are used in the entire novel.
Both the metaphors of invisibility and blindness give room for a scrutiny of the impacts of
racism on the victims and perpetrators (Ellison, 53). Since the author is a Black man, the White
people don’t see him as a complete human being. Due to this reason, depicts himself as invisible
and demonstrates the White people as blind.
The major struggle of the author lies in the drift between how people perceive him and
his personal perception. The issues of racism make people view him according to the racial
stereotypes, i.e., as a mugger, bumpkin, or even savage. However, the author only desires to be

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Surname 1 Name: Professor: Course: Date: The Invisible Man The author’s grandfather introduces some aspect of moral and emotional ambiguity to the narrative, leading to the mode of questioning that dominates the entire novel. As the grandfather issues a confession that he perceives himself as a traitor because of his meekness regarding the racist structure enduring in the South, it is not clear whom the grandfather feels to have betrayed. He may have betrayed himself, the family, ancestors, and the generations to come or even the entire race. Some ambiguity arises from the grandfather’s failure to elaborate, and also in his direct orders (Ellison, 5). This is evident in that, regarding the self-protection of his family; he requests them to keep two distinct identities. He wanted them to pretend to be stereotypical good slaves on the outside as well as to uphold their bitterness and resentment to cover the false identity. The analysis focuses on the significance of the grandfather regarding the understanding of the African-American culture. The implication for the two identities was that the descendants of the grandfather could internally reject the second class status, guard their self-esteem, and prevent betrayal on one another. The application of role-playing as a mechanism of subterfuge continues to gain significance in later sections of the narrative. The mask or role-playing technique introduced by Surname 2 the grandfather acts as a defensive tack tick as the r ...
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