Ben Labe's Reviews > Invisible Man

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
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Jan 08, 12

Read in January, 2012

Set amid the American civil rights movement, "Invisible Man" tells a story of disillusionment and awakening. We receive the story through the lens of its protagonist, a well-meaning young black man whose name is never even stated when he assumes a new one. Facing an episode of betrayal and having been cast out from his college in the South, he moves to New York and soon undertakes a position as a political activist in an occult organization called the Brotherhood. Originally, he is enraptured by his new sense of personal responsibility, yet eventually he discovers that his brothers may not be as noble as he had hoped.

Invisible Man is written in a seamless prose style that keeps the reader engaged and sympathetic. While the most interesting scenes are at the beginning, the conclusion, though ambiguous, is satisfying and insightful. It is a humbling read.
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