Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man is the story of a man wrestling with his identity as an African American man living in a highly prejudiced society. When he is accepted to an all-black college, his choices to placate the curiosity of the white community cause him to be seen as invisible, in addition to the fact that he is a black man and disregarded by the society in which he lives.
Ellison’s unnamed central character should be in sympathetic company at his school, but the tension that lingers within in his own community amplifies the alienation that he feels. The author is attempting to demonstrate how outside agitation causes this turmoil within an oppressed community, pitting one against another. This quote from chapter five is a clear demonstration of this conflict:
"The clouds of darkness all over the land, black folk and white folk full of fear and hate, wanting to go forward, but each fearful of the other. A whole region is caught in a terrible tension. Everyone is perplexed with...
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