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The Effects of Racism in Invisible Man and Native Son

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Tim Paulsen

on 3 December 2012

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Transcript of The Effects of Racism in Invisible Man and Native Son

Ralph Ellison Born in Oklahoma
Studied at Tuskegee
Made ends meet in New York, NY
Served as a cook in the merchant marines in WWII
Wrote his first novel, Invisible Man, in 1952 Ellison decided on writing as a career path after meeting and writing a book review for Richard Wright (author of Native Son) Existentialist African-American Novel A novel that focuses on social (specifically racial) issues from the view of an individual, with a focus on that individual's growth and development. Invisible Man is in the first person point of view. The Narrator "I am an Invisible Man"
His grandfather's philosophy - Humility to fight racism
Trueblood and the vet speaking to Mr. Norton with no filter
Bledsoe's effect on the narrator through his hidden personal agenda
The Brotherhood's emphasis on "we" rather than individuality Setting Ambiguity in time
Ambiguity in the college
Harlem Symbolism Blindness
Invisibility
Reverend Barbee
Founder statue
Color
White
Liberty Paints Richard Wright Born into a previously slave family now working as sharecroppers in 1908
Moved frequently to care for his mother
Settled in Chicago where he began to write
Involved in the Communist party
First best-selling book was Native Son in 1940 Bigger Thomas Lives in a one-room, rat-infested apartment with his whole family
His inability to provide for or help his family drives him to eventually commit murder
Labeled a "monster" but accepts it Setting Lives in squalor
Sees the Dalton's neighborhood
Ends in confinement at the prison Symbolism Blindness
Mrs. Dalton
Author refers to Jan, Mary, Mr. Dalton, and Bessie
Max is not until the prison cell
Color
Red (Communist)
White (Snow storm, cat) So what? All of the elements discussed show how racism can impact someone by limiting their sense of individuality Why should I care? Averbach, Margara. "Native Son." Novels for Students. Ed. Deborah A. Stanley. 1999. Print.

Brucker, Carl. "Native Son." Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction. Ed. Kirk H. Beetz. Vol. 5. 1996. 2916-19. Print.

Davis, J. Madison. "Invisible Man." Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction. Ed. Kirk H. Beetz. Vol. 4. Osprey: Beacham's, 1996. 2143-47. Print.

Dykema-VanderArk, Anthony M. "Invisible Man." Novels for Students. Ed. Diane Telgen. Vol. 2. 1997. Print.

Ellison, Ralph. Invisible Man. Second Vintage Intl. ed. 1952. New York: Random, 1995. Print.

Wright, Richard. Native Son. Perennial Classic ed. 1940. New York: Harper, 1966. Print.

Pictures courtesy of wikipedia Works Cited Urban novel of social protest A novel set in a city of some sort, used as propaganda or in protest of a social issue. Native son is told mostly from Bigger Thomas' perspective. These two novels, linked by this theme, still provide very valuable lessons about the dangers of racism. While not as prevalent today as at the time of the novel, it still exists, and limiting people's sense of individuality can limit much more about them, and our world would not be as well off as it is today.
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