The Invisible Man: The Problem of Social Blindness and Ignorance

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Invisibility sounds like a great super power that anyone would want. Even best of us can get annoyed by this world and sometimes just wishes everyone would leave them alone and stop bothering them, but not everyone wishes that. Some might be wishing for the opposite because people do not get the attention they need and they end up feeling left out, sort of like they are invisible to rest of the world.. Some people might feel they are stuck in a world where people just do not care about them and just want others to notice them and start to treat them equal like everyone else. In this case, what we call a superpower can turn into a curse.“

Invisible man is a novel that explains adventures of young African American man whose successful search for identity ends with realization that he is invisible to the white world”(Rice, H. William). In the invisible man Ralph Ellison uses invisibility and blindness to demonstrate the African American experience in a racist environment.Ralph Ellison uses blindness as one of the themes in the invisible man. The invisible man extended the actual living out of others’ views of his identity and collected the general stereotypes rather than an actual, individual person. White people did not “see” the African Americans as people. African Americans did not get all the rights as the whites did in the early society. This seems bad and morally wrong right now but for some reason it was normal back in time. This shows the ignorance of people in history. “ I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me.”(Ralph, prologue 1). This quote shows the fact that some people are just too ignorant to respect others and their rights. As the unnamed narrator of invisible works for the organization, he eventually encounters many people and situations that slowly forces him to face the truth about racism and his own lack of identity. As racial tensions continued to build he fully understands himself and decides to come back to the real world once he finishes writing his story. “ And my problem was that I always tried to go in everyone’s way but my own.”(Ralph, pg.573).

The amount of things that he has learned underground was just good phrases and a good views of life. When everyone always tries to go on their way on other people but on their own. So after years of being under the hole, he realizes no one really wished to hear what he called “Myself”.Mixed emotions was left for the narrator such as feeling furious and anxious to gain revenge on the previous scenarios. He declares that people are merely tools and that the larger interest of the brotherhood are more important than any individual. Recalling advices given from his grandfather, the narrator determines to undermine the brotherhood by seeming to go along with them completely.

The narrator flatters himself and stood at his own perspective trying to use his own knowledge on what he should do.After years of trying to adopt the opinions of others, he finally rebelled. The black man struggles to survive and succeed in a racially divided society that refuses to see him as a human being, but in the end of his journey from blind ignorance to understanding social equality. In Invisible man, blindness was used to show in struggles of the blacks against the racist society. In the end, it wasn’t just about the racism in the book, sadly at some point our society was like that, where not everyone has equal rights and everyone was treated differently depending on your skin color. This sounds completely wrong in every way now but ignorance made people blind and they did things that a normal person now would not do in today’s society.

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