Sunday, October 23, 2011

Literature Analysis #2

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

  1. Invisible Man begins with the narrator telling us the he is underground writing a story about his life. He calls himself the "invisible man" and he is an African-American. The main part of the story are flash backs on the narrator's life. He was a talented public speaker and was selected to give a speech in order to receive a scholarship. The narrator goes off to college and while he is there he is the driver for the college's trustee, Mr. Norton. Mr. Norton faints after getting a drink and when the college's president, Dr. Bledsoe hears about it he blames and expels the narrator from the school. The narrator goes out into the city of New York to find a job. When he gets one, he ends up getting hurt and he loses his conscience. When he finally wakes up, he is asked by Brother Jack, a member of a brotherhood who heard the narrator's speech, to join his brotherhood. Jack wants the narrator to become the next Booker T. Washington. The narrator works with the brotherhood for several months when a magazine interviews him. The brotherhood calls him out for using the brotherhood for personal gain and force him to work in Harlem for women's rights. After a while a small riot happens and the narrator's friend is shot and killed. The narrator leads a march in Harlem to protest his friend's death. However when he gets back to the brotherhood, they are angry at him for tying the brotherhood with his friend, who they claim to be a traitor to the brotherhood. The narrator leaves the brotherhood and goes to Harlem to speak out and protest. A large riot happens and the narrator falls down a man hole where he has stayed since. The narrator finishes by reflecting on his devotion to the brotherhood and his choice in the end.
  2. The major theme in this novel is find out who you are. 
  3. The author's tone is calm and to the point. He doesn't show anger at the issues in the book.
  4. 5 literary techniques used are
  • metaphor
  • allusion
  • symbolism
  • simile
  • diction

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