Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Review of 'Invisible Man' by Ralph Ellison

"First published in 1952 and immediately hailed as a masterpiece, Invisible Man is one of those rare novels that have changed the shape of American literature.  For not only does Ralph Ellison's nightmare journey across the racial divide tell unparalleled truths about the nature of bigotry and its effects on the minds of both victims and perpetrators, it gives us an entirely new model of what a novel can be.

As he journeys from the Deep South to the streets and basements of Harlem, from a horrifying 'battle royal' where black men are reduced to fighting animals, to a Communist rally where they are elevated to the status of trophies, Ralph Ellison's nameless protagonist ushers readers into a parallel universe that throws our own into harsh and even hilarious relief.  Suspenseful and sardonic, narrated in a voice that takes in the symphonic range of the American languages, black and white, Invisible Man is one of the most audacious and dazzling novels of our century."

Another book that I've had to read for my English class.  Let's get right into it.

Looking at the book in its entirety, it was really just an okay book.  There were many good things, but there were also many bad things that made me lose feelings for this book.

There was powerful symbolism and at one point or another, it turned into a game for me.  I was looking for the color white almost the entire time.  Looking for blindness/sight motif was also a good pastime while reading.

My favorite part to read was the paint factory.  It just felt like more things were happening in that part.  It was like watching a clumsy teenager at their first job.

I didn't like that even though I knew I was probably reading something vital to the rest of the book, I didn't care.  I hate not caring when I read a book because then it just feels like I'm wasting my time.

Another thing about this book was I always had this feeling that the main character was holding something back.  That's the author's job, not the characters'.  Then again, maybe I missed the memo...

While there are many things that I didn't like, there are some redeeming qualities to it.  Because of this, I give Invisible Man:
Now I'm off to write a paper so that I can be rid of this book.

Thanks for reading!


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