Invisible Man is a novel by African-American author Ralph Ellison, first published by Random House in 1952. It responds to Ellison's own disillusionment with the communist party.
In the late 1930s and early 1940s, Ellison was associated with the Communist Party, in part through his association with fellow African-American writer Richard Wright. As someone raised in poverty, Ellison was influenced by Marxist ideology concerning class oppression. However, in 1945, Ellison became disillusioned with the Communist Party, feeling that the Party had betrayed African Americans and its own ideals. Invisible Man was written in response to this break with the Communist Party.
The Communist Party is reflected in the novel as the Brotherhood. The narrator first embraces it, but it eventually betrays him. In chapters 16 through 18, readers see how success in the Brotherhood undermines the narrator's sense of identity. The narrator...
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