25 April 2012
American Citizen lives in Manhole
For the invisible man, living as a black man during the narrator’s time presented particular problems. Discuss the time in which the narrator’s story takes place, and discuss those issues in terms of the narrator’s experience so far in the novel.
In Ralph Ellison’s Novel “The Invisible Man” a black man comes of age in the early twentieth century. As he becomes a young man wanting to go to college, he has to go through many obstacles along his way. The main obstacle was to find out just who he was as a man, a black man. The issues that stood out during this time of his youth were that of social injustice. Social injustice in various stances, such as the black people during that time had jobs, like working as a house maid, or a butler for a rich white man, even as a driver like the narrator in The Invisible Man. During those times, in the 1920’s into the 1930’s and on there was an ongoing struggle for equal rights. Blacks had to use separate bathrooms, they had to sit in the back of buses, and they couldn’t even get into certain restaurants or stores. It truly was as if they were to be invisible, not to be seen or heard.
At the time other cultures were also struggling with their identity’s trying to be recognized as an American citizen. There were the Irish, Italians, the Cubans, Porte Ricans and many Asian cultures. However, it was the African Americans who had the worst end of stick. Growing up as a black man must have been a little apprehensive to say the least. The “New Negro Movement” which began in Harlem, New York. The narrator went to College, a Negro College near there, and at the time, had gotten a job driving for a rich white man that was one of the founders of the school. The Negro Movement spread throught the United States, and seemed to open doors for the African American man to get better jobs, such as teachers, even doctors.
In the Novel The...