Ralph Ellison’S Own Personal Journey

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Ralph Ellison’s own personal journey through life was spent trying to figure out who he was as a person, and is displayed in his writing by revealing the adventure in life of becoming an man that one would be proud of. This is done with the understanding that the world is not perfect, and will never be completely fair for everyone in it. In Ellison’s novels he alludes to the reader of the impacts that changed his life through the words in the book.

In Invisible Man, the narrator of the novel is an unnamed black man who gets kicked out of college in the south, and subsequently is sent to the north for a job. He ends up getting involved with a political group known as the Brotherhood, and starts to question his individuality, as well as his own identity. Ellison himself was influenced by many things at a young age, such as poverty, the city of New York which changed his life, and finally the influences of racism and how he overcame prejudice. These key ingredients of Ellison’s cake of life helped him to form novels around the characters in his books, which he largely bases on himself.

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Ralph Ellison’s experience of having little to no hope to become anything more than who he already was as a kid is seen through the narrator’s thoughts about himself and his own life. As a child, Ellison remembered working it out this way: there was a world in which you wore your everyday clothes on Sunday, and there was a world in which you wore your Sunday clothes every day (Ellison 6). Ralph Ellison’s world was the world in which a person wore their everyday clothes on Sunday, one where they had no choice otherwise, due to external limitations.

Much like the author of Invisible Man, the narrator in the novel resembled the life of being unable to have the posh things in life, the expensive stuff so to say.. The narrator recalls being not being able to purchase his wants over his needs, which is demonstrated in the excerpt: as he undressed he saw his outworn clothes (Ellison 315). The process of becoming someone better in life does not just happen to people on a whim. It is something that humans themselves have to work and strive for if they are to earn it. For Ellison himself, this concept was difficult to understand, but after a short time he realized that it was true. For the narrator of Invisible Man, however, it was a more complicated story.

The narrator in Invisible Man has a hard time grasping the fact that he is supposed to make choices to help his own life and not everyone else’s. He thinks that everyone seemed to have some plan for him,

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