Sample Essay

The immensely rich novel of Ellison explains why, since its publication in 1952, so many readers have been moved by Ellison’s complex narrative of twenty turbulent years in the life of his young protagonist (Winther). The theme of the story is search for identity, a theme that is central to American literature and American experience. The invisible man, as the author says, is a clash of innocence and human error and a struggle from illusion to reality.

Ellison calls for independence and self-awareness and sees the unquestioning subordination of human beings as a critical flaw that can lead one to manipulation by the hands of the superiors as the Black woman does not question her White master for imprisoning her along with her children but continues her unconditional love for good. Ellison’s real mastery lies in addressing the serious issues such as social bias in his comic novel which relies on the traditional picaresque humor of initiation and the rough-edged humor of urban African Americans. The novel voices the issues of racism which have haunted the society of America for centuries.

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