Originally posted on heatherpaquette.com
Prior to reading Invisible Man, the only thing I knew about Ralph Ellison was that his smiling face greeted me from my Kindle in a rotation with John Steinbeck, Charlotte Bronte, and a few others. I’m glad I got to actually read his milestone work, which was his first novel and was originally conceived after he had some conversations with Richard Wright, whose Native Son is next on the list.
The story is told through the perspective of the nameless African-American narrator, who tells the story of his early adult years. He claims that he is invisible because of the refusal of others to really see him. The first few chapters are basically short stories in themselves and in fact, one section was published separately prior to the book’s publication.
We first meet the narrator as a teenager who’s been invited to speak to a group of local white…
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