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Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

 

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison follows the life of an unnamed African American narrator as he struggles with racism and identity. The novel begins with the narrator explaining his condition as an “invisible man.” Although he is not literally invisible, people choose not to see or listen to him because of their prejudiced perspectives. He then recounts his past and the events that ultimately rendered him invisible. Throughout his childhood, the narrator was often subjected to racism. In one instance, he was forced to have a boxing match with other black students for the entertainment of the white leaders of his town. Later, he attends college with a scholarship, but he ends up getting expelled and sent to New York city. While in New York City, the narrator joins an organization that supposedly defends and protects those who are oppressed. However, he soon begins to see the true intentions of this organization that has been manipulating him.

I wouldn’t reach for this book when I’m looking for a fast, light read, given its rather slow pace and considerable length. It forces you to really think and analyze each chapter, and often, it might be hard to follow the plot. Additionally, it’s important to note that this novel contains offensive language and violence. Nevertheless, this novel was very well written and incorporated a lot of themes and symbols that effectively added to the narrative. I especially enjoyed the complexity of the characters, and their developments as the story progressed. If you are interested in reading a book that explores complex themes and characters, I would recommend Invisible Man.

Reviewed by- Michelle Lee
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