Books and Movies Reviews

Invisible Man

What starts with pandemonium concludes with pandemonium in this story about spending a lifetime completely unnoticed by society. The Invisible Man by Ralph Waldo Ellison traces one African-American man's constant struggle to be "seen" by his Caucasian peers. It describes the drawbacks and benefits of a life spent being ignored because of race.
The story is told in a series of flashbacks by the narrator, who in the present resides in New York. It revolves around the space of twenty years between the narrator's graduation from high school and the present.
The book is set alternately in the South and the North, specifically South Carolina and New York. The majority of the novel is set up North, however, as this is the place where the narrator now lives.
The novel begins with a passage describing a nameless man's existence in an abandoned basement under a city building reserved for white people. He has only a few possessions, but out of those, he does have a favorite – his record player. The narrator adores music, and dreams of owning five record players so he can listen to "What Did I Do to Be So Black and Blue" by Louis Armstrong coming out of five speakers at once. As he describes his residence, he mentions that the place is filled with light (unusual for a basement). Judging by the rest of the book's content, it could be assumed that the mention of the excessively bright living quarters refers to learning (as a pupil may be described as "bright") and the gain of knowledge in order to move up in the world.
Throughout the book'sfirst six chapters, the narrator describes his life following high school through his stint at a college for African-Americans. In Chapter One, the narrator talks about his excitement at the prospect of speaking at a function attended by the city's most prestigious white populace. As it turns out, it is actually an informal gathering o…


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