invisible man ralph ellison folk 195 march 4, 2003 jean ferguson

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Invisible Man Ralph Ellison FOLK 195 March 4, 2003 Jean Ferguson

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Invisible Man

Invisible ManRalph Ellison

FOLK 195March 4, 2003Jean Ferguson1Invisible ManWhat does it mean to be unseen?I am an invisible man

2Invisible Man: Overview

3Invisible Man: Ralph EllisonBorn March 1, 1914 in Oklahoma City, OK (named after Ralph Waldo Emerson)Father died in 1917 resulted in economic struggleMother active in socialist politicsAttended college at the Tuskegee Institute to study MusicMoved to Harlem in New York City to study sculpture and photographyTook seven years to write Invisible Man (1952)Taught at Bard College, Rutgers and NYUPublished other novelsDied April 16, 1994

4Invisible Man: CharactersNarratorGrandfatherDr. BledsoeMr. NortonMaryBrother JackTod CliftonRas, the Destroyer

5Invisible Man: StructureFramed NarrativeRetreatBattle RoyalCollegeNew YorkHarlemThe BrotherhoodRetreat

6Invisible Man: Major ThemesInvisibility/BlindnessWe choose not to see the ugly truths around usSociety ignores the oppressedHow we change perceptions of the self in societyIdentity/Black IdentityDefining who you are through your relationships with othersWho is my authentic self? (Self versus who we WANT to be)Is this a universal search or is it specific to an African-American man in a predominately Caucasian society?Does failure lead us to truth?DualismBeing two seemingly contradictory things at once. Being black in a white societyAre we what is projected onto us? Existential Search for SelfRealizing that you are responsible for your actions/reactions in a chaotic worldOppressionSocietys role in oppressing us allThe oppression of African-Americans7Invisible Man: MotifsDreamsSexViolencePaperVision (Physical seeing, Delusions, Illusions, Reveries)Oratory (The Power of Speaking)MusicFamilyPowerInvisible ManWhat Did I Do to Be So Black and Blue Louis ArmstrongCold empty bed...springs hurt my headFeels like ole ned...wished i was deadWhat did i be so black and blue

Even the mouse...ran from my houseThey laugh at you...and all that you doWhat did i be so black and blue

I'm white...inside...but, that don't help my caseThat's life...can't hide...what is in my face

How would it end...ain't got a friendMy only in my skinWhat did i be so black and blue

(instrumental break)

How would it end...i ain't got a friendMy only in my skinWhat did i be so black and blue