Ralph Ellison Long Fiction Analysis
Ellison’s artistic vision is not impaired by blind spots related to racially divided cultures. While he acknowledges the expression of racial divisions in the works of such authors as Richard Wright and Langston Hughes, he is also critical of stereotyped images of blacks in fiction by white authors. Ellison’s mature attitude toward American pluralism made him aware that racism is a common phenomenon that both whites and blacks need to transcend in order to coexist.
A masterwork of American pluralism, Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man insists on the integrity of individual vocabulary and racial heritage while encouraging a democratic acceptance of diverse experiences. Ellison asserts this vision through the voice of an unnamed first-person narrator who is at once heir to the rich African American oral culture and a self-conscious artist who, like T. S. Eliot and James Joyce, exploits the full potential of his written medium. Intimating the potential cooperation between folk and artistic consciousness, Ellison confronts the pressures that discourage both individual integrity and cultural pluralism.
Invisible Man is a story about the gradual awakening of an African American man concerning his role in a multicultural democracy. The novel’s narrator-protagonist introduces Ellison’s central metaphor for the situation of the individual in Western culture in the first paragraph: “I am...
(The entire section is 4171 words.)
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