Asti's AP Lit & Comp 2017-2018 discussion

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The Invisible Man > Journey

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message 1: by Mrs. Asti (new)

Mrs. Asti | 9 comments Mod
In many works of literature, a physical journey – the literal movement from one place to another – plays a central role. From Ralph Ellison's "The Invisible Man", discuss how a specific physical journey is an important element and discuss how the journey adds to the meaning of the work as a whole. Avoid mere plot summary.

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message 2: by Alicia (last edited Aug 11, 2017 04:20PM) (new)

Alicia Fernandez-Lopez | 10 comments Alicia Fernandez-Lopez

Throughout history many people strive to embark on a life changing journey. In Ralph Ellison’s "The Invisible Man", the unnamed protagonist underwent a journey that changed his identity. With time, the true meaning of his journey evolved. Due to the incident with Mr. Norton, the protagonist was sent to New York as a form of punishment. In the final meeting, Dr. Bledsoe stated, “and the race needs good, smart, disillusioned fighters. Therefore I’m going to give a hand – maybe you’ll feel that I’m giving you my left hand after I’m struck you with my right – if you think I’m the kind of man who’d lead with his right , which I’m most certainly not. But that’s all right too, take it or leave it. I want you to go to New York for the summer and save your pride—and your money. You go there and earn your next year’s fees, understand? I’ll give you letters to some of the school’s friends to see that you get work…” (Ellison 145). When the southern protagonist went to New York, his purpose was to earn enough money to get back to the college and to finish his college career as a leading campus figure. The beginning of his journey was an important element because he wanted to prove himself to Dr. Bledsoe by owning up to his responsibilities. In the final stages of the protagonist’s journey, he realizes his true identity. In the cellar, he stated, “And now I realized that I couldn’t return to Mary’s, or to any part of my old life. I could approach it only from the outside, and I had been as invisible to Mary as I had been to the Brotherhood. No, I couldn’t return to Mary’s, or the campus, or to the Brotherhood, or home. I could only move ahead or stay here, underground. So I would stay here until I was chased out. Here, at least, I could try to think things out in peace, or, if not in peace, in quiet. I would take up residence underground. The end was in the beginning” (Ellison 571). It was in the cellar where he realized that he couldn’t go back to his past life. Throughout the journey, the protagonist was able to unveil his true identity to himself. The journey to New York allowed him to experience many more things than what he would have experienced in the Campus. In addition, the journey added more meaning to the protagonist story line. Due to the journey, the protagonist was able to grow with his vast experiences. Also, it revealed the multilayer complexity of the main character. Not only did the readers understand the true meaning of invisibility, but the protagonist did as well. If the main character had not gone to New York, then the whole basis of the novel would have been completely different. Also, the main character would have been static and not a dynamic character. All in all, the purpose of journeys is not finding new things, but it is finding oneself.


message 3: by Leonel (new)

Leonel Martinez | 9 comments Leonel Martinez
The narrator, in Ralph Ellison’s book “Invisible Man,” went through countless journeys throughout the book. When the narrator took Mr. Norton for a ride, the narrator followed Mr. Norton’s directions and took him to see the racist white folk of the South. This “mistake” cost the narrator his scholarship at the college, which during the meeting with Dr. Bledsoe the narrator was told, “I want you to go to New York for the summer and save your pride -- and your money. You go there and earn your next year's fees, understand?" (Ellison 145). This occurrence led the narrator to start his journey towards New York, where he was told by the vet on the bus ride towards New York, "Deep down you're thinking about the freedom you've heard about up North, and you'll try it once, just to see if what you've heard is true," (Ellison 152). The vet told the narrator of the freedom one, a black man, experiences in New York, showing the new possibilities the narrator has to succeed with his new journey into freedom. The move from the South to the North, resembled a sort of freedom for the narrator, allowing the narrator to express to the world a man made of racial stereotypes, showing the readers that during his journey the narrator found out his true self while seeming to be an invisible man to others, due to racial stereotypes many white folks viewed all blacks to be same person. This illusion of being invisible to others showed the narrator that he could hide away in the abandoned basement of an all-white hotel, for he decided could no longer return to his past, the South, especially due to his new name the narrator was unable to contact any of his family or friends. The journey allowed the narrator to uncover his vast complexion, showing the readers that throughout the journey the narrator was not meant to find a new life, but it was to be able to discover himself.


message 4: by Valeria (last edited Aug 22, 2017 02:21PM) (new)

Valeria Batlle | 9 comments Valeria Batlle
An important journey the narrator goes through in the novel "Invisible Man" by Ralph Ellison, is when he traveled from his home the south, to New York. After an incident with a white man named Mr. Norton, Dr. Bledsoe expelled him unjustly and sent the main character to New York with him, of course, not knowing that he was expelled. Because the main character thought that he and Bledsoe were on the same page, he had a positive attitude towards moving to a new place. During his trip the narrator comes across people who tell him how different his life would be. The journey acts as a foreshadow tool for the novel as a whole making the reader feel exited about what came next. Also, the journey gave the narrator space to think about his life and showed the reader how he wanted to let go of the past. In the bus station ready to go, the narrator states, “Now having accepted my punishment, I wanted to remember nothing connected with Trueblood or the Golden day.” (Ellison 151) Here one can see that the main character is committed to start his new life the right way, by letting go of everything bad that had happened in the past. When the narrator came across the vet he met before at the Golden Day, he immediately realizes that he is accompanied by an attendant named Mr. Crenshaw. They both ask the narrator where he was going and start to tell him what he should expect up north. The vet said, “I can see you after you’ve lived in Harlem for three months. Your speech will change, you’ll talk a lot about ‘college,’ you’ll attend lectures at the Men’s House. . . you might even meet a few white folks…you might even dance with a white girl!” (Ellison 152) As said, here the author uses foreshadow to indicate that the narrator would come across different things and more open minded people. By the vet saying that the unnamed narrator might even dance with a white girl (which was a crazy though for him), makes the reader come to the conclusion that the people’s mentality in the North was very different. There was hope. The narrator now thought that there was a bright future ahead. The journey lets the reader in the narrator’s thoughts at the moment, and excites one to read about the moment he gets to his final destination.


message 5: by Nataly (new)

Nataly Ruiz (nruiz27264) | 9 comments Nataly Ruiz

"Invisible Man" is the story of a man's journey towards self-discovery. The literal journey he had was from his roots in the south to the liberal north. Although this may just be a change of setting, it represents something deeper. The change of setting allowed for his true journey to begin. His journey begun with the grave mistake of showing Mr. Norton, a white trustee of the narrator's college, the underside of black life. Because of this event, the narrator is sent to New York by Dr. Bledsoe, under false pretenses still unknown to him, to work until the next semester starts and then return. When the truth is revealed, that Dr. Bledsoe never intended to readmit the narrator back into the institution, the narrator is left without a purpose, and takes comfort in the brotherhood. The progression from submission to his sudden discovery of his invisibility, make his journey posses a deeper meaning than just a change of city or purpose. His real journey was how he went from conforming to being meek for the sake of progression, to realizing how invisible he really is to everybody around him, and ultimately, the importance of his own black heritage/ identity, "....I had been as invisible to Mary as I had been to the Brotherhood. No, I couldn’t return to Mary’s, or the campus, or to the Brotherhood, or home. I could only move ahead or stay here, underground. So I would stay here until I was chased out. Here, at least, I could try to think things out in peace, or, if not in peace, in quiet. I would take up residence underground. The end was in the beginning” (pg 571). The narrator is left alone to ponder over his newfound invisibility,in a place where he is literally invisible to the outside world, and to come to ultimately come to terms with it and realize his own individuality apart from what others make him out to be. In the Epilogue, the narrator looks back on his grandfather's advice to him and decides to write his story down in order for us, as the readers, to look past his invisibility, despite never knowing his name, "I carried my sickness and though for a long time I tried to place it in the outside world, the attempt to write it down shows me that at least half of it lay within me" (Ellison 575). This shows that he has discovered himself through conveying to us his story. His journey has been a difficult one, but in the end, he is speaking for all those that are invisible, waiting for their own self-discovery.


message 6: by Malbis (new)

Malbis | 10 comments Malbis Martinez
At the start of Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man” the narrator lives in the South and goes to a black college, but by chapter seven he is catching a bus to go to the North, specifically New York City, due to the fact that he has been expelled from the college by Dr. Bledsoe. Without this physical journey the narrator would not have experienced such cruel and insensitive actions. For example, when the narrator gets into a fight at Liberty Paints plant and ends up in the hospital, undergoing a kind of rebirth (Ellison 231-234); also when he witnesses Clifton’s death at the hands of white police officers that were motivated by racists thoughts (Ellison 436-437). All these events, which occurred due to his physical journey to New York City, helped the narrator realize that he has not been himself since the beginning of the novel but has actually let the ideology of the college and the Brotherhood shape who he is as a person. He has learned that being authentic and flexible with his personality is the key to freedom. In addition, at the beginning of the novel the narrator had a different interpretation of calling himself an “invisible man” but the meaning has change since then: at the start he called attention to the fact that people could not see him, now he calls attention to the fact that people cannot see his true identity. Overall, the physical journey that the narrator experienced helped him have a revelation - which he would not have had if he stayed in the south - that he is being manipulated by outside forces and will not let himself be subject to others visions and demands any longer.


message 7: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Polonio | 9 comments Elizabeth Polonio
In the beginning of Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man" the narrator lives his life in the South by attending a black college. As the novel progresses the narrator moves to the North, New York City. Having being expelled by Dr. Bledsoe gives the narrator the chance to experience change and a new life in New York. He would have never joined Brotherhood or met important characters that would further change his life. For example in chapter 17 the narrator states, "Still, I liked my work during those days of certainty. I kept my eyes wide and ears alert. The Brotherhood was a world within a world and I was determined to discover all the secrets and to advance as far as I could. I saw no limits, it was the one organization in the whole country in which I could reach the very top and I meant to get there." (Ellison 380) Lighting the spark of ambition within the narrator, it shows that he is growing as a person and is shaping his personality. In the beginning of the novel the narrator would refer to himself as "invisible" hinting at being an invisible man. Yet as the novel continues the meaning of being invisible for the narrator changes. He himself sees a change within. By moving from the South it is a revelation of his true identity, if he had stayed in the South he would have continued living a life with no meaning or purpose. Having moved to the North has allowed him to find the true meaning of "invisibility" : not having others see your true self.


message 8: by Sophia (new)

Sophia | 9 comments Sophia Robison
In Ralph Ellison’s novel, The invisible man, the protagonist embarks on a journey from his college life in the south, to go north, to New York. One would assume that the main character would look forward to his time spent in New York, but on the way there, all he longed to do was go back to college and resume his old life. He did not wish to leave because he has “no other way of living, nor other forms of success available to…” (page 147) him. Along the journey though, the main character undergoes a transformation and slowly gains a better understanding of how the world really operates. He goes from yearning for materialistic things like smart looking clothes and trying to appearing charming to looking deeply within himself. Due to his journey to New York, he becomes less naïve and learns what it means to be “invisible”.


message 9: by Larry (new)

Larry Haya-Cuan | 9 comments Larry Haya-cuan

In the story By Ralph Ellison “Invisible man,” a physical journey took place for the main character. The main character, Invisible man, had no other choice but to move from the southern state to the north states. This journey Invisible man went through, took a naive boy-in the sense that he was innocent in the world- and transformed him into a man. He didnt know the struggle of having nothing and the process of building up a career. He was thrown into another world and had to get use to this different lifestyle. It was a whole new world for him, new territory. He witnessed the struggles of others and made a choice, that continued his journey. Through this ride, Invisible man was able to find what was important to him. He made friends, lost some, spoke his heart out, and stood up for his race. At the end of his journey, Invisible man learned how to stand up for not only himself but his people, to fight for what he believes in. As a whole, this physical journey has transformed him into a man with experience of the world and its problems.


message 10: by Yareliz (new)

Yareliz | 9 comments Yareliz Ferreira-Journey
Ralph Ellison’s book “Invisible Man” is about a man who embarks on a “forced” journey and discovers who he really is. The story begins with the main character, Invisible Man, taking part in college in the South. While running an errand for a staff member, Invisible Man finds himself in trouble, he was in charge of taking care of a trustee (white man) and failed. Once the member found out he kicked Invisible Man out of the college, starting the beginning of Invisible Man’s journey. He began his journey with wanting to quickly find a job and pay his way back into college, but things changed. Invisible Man always played by the rules and obeyed any white man he saw, knowing that they could possibly throw him in jail if they pleased. With this said, when Invisible Man entered the North, his whole perspective changed. He didn’t know how to act or what to do. There was white men obeying black men. “…I had the shock of seeing a black policeman directing traffic-and there were white drivers in the traffic who obeyed his signals as though it was the most natural thing in the world.” Seeing this gave a start to Invisible Man, it gave him the feeling of hope. He soon learned that college was no longer as important to him. Invisible Man could now be himself. He soon fell into a crowd and gave a speech which he’s always loved to do. Invisible Man’s journey was to now help the people. Now that he made it here he was able to do just that. Invisible Man’s journey was definitely a difficult one just like any other. He had incidents where he had to fight, run, and give speeches like he’s never done before. But without this journey he would have never been able to discover himself, or what he actually desired. He desired peace. After this whole roller coaster he went through all he wanted was tranquility. “Here, at least, I could try to think things out in peace, or, if not in peace, in quiet.” Every time some part of Invisible Man’s life ended, he started again. For example, after being kicked out of college his new goal was to help the people. After trying to help the people, he had found that he was at at an end, but still wanted start a new journey again. Like he said “ The end was in the beginning.” Creating a journey like this in a book gives the book meaning. It also makes it interesting and can provide motivation to people who may be embarking on a journey for themselves. Including a journey for a character in a book is also important because it brings the character to life, it makes the character feel more real. It also creates a bond between the reader and the narrator/character. It gives the reader the feeling that they are apart of this journey as well, and both the reader and the character want to accomplish it.


message 11: by Ashley (last edited Aug 30, 2017 02:56PM) (new)

Ashley Lavina | 10 comments Ashley Lavina
The narrator in “Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison often identifies certain kinds of physical movements with moral and spiritual renovation. His life is not tied down to any specific places or an exact time, which lead to the change in his identity. His journey begins as he leaves to New York City after being expelled from the black college in the south, as a form of punishment and to find a job to get an education again. Once he arrives in Harlem, he is captivated by the innovation, originality and pace of the city, changing his entire perspective on life. “For me this was not a city of realities, but of dreams; perhaps because I had always thought of my life as being confined to the South. And now as I struggled through the lines of people, a new world of possibility suggested itself to me faintly, like a small voice that was barely audible in the roar of city sounds. I moved wide-eyed, trying to take the bombardment of impressions. (Ellison,159) Later in the novel, the narrator thinks about the New York City as a place where "You could actually make yourself anew.” Moving to the north gave him hope to change his life around, find his identity and freedom. By defending his race, getting into fights, and facing challenges throughout his journey in the north, the narrator grew as a person and had experiences leading up to finding himself. Moving from the south and embarking on his journey towards his true self gave his life purpose, despite the fact that others saw him as an invisible man. He saw that compared to the south, where everybody knew him, the urban life could present him with freedom.


message 12: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Smoorenburg | 9 comments Ryan Smoorenburg
Now a journey might be described as “an act of traveling from one place to another”. However, we as readers of this novel could interpret it another way. The protagonist encounters a “journey”. Now yes, this journey was an act of movement from one place to another, but was it really travelling? Was it the travelling that we love to do as tourists to other countries for example? In Ralph Ellison’s “The Invisible Man”, the protagonist goes on a journey to New York. In Chapters 6-7, the protagonist goes to New York in Dr.Bledsoe’s commands and instructions and encounters a unique and different environment than the south where he lived. This journey wasn’t just for going to New York for going’s sake, it was specifically a punishment given to the protagonist. He was supposed to go to New York to earn enough money to go back to the south to college and study. Now what makes this journey so important and significant is what the protagonist discovers and learns from the trip to New York. He learns his new and true identity. During the early stages of his journey, he is well motivated to prove Dr. Bledsoe wrong for his decision, especially with receiving the letters himself, and he wants to show him what he can do. However, as he adapts to the new environment, learns the “common tongue” of New York, interacts with others (the Brotherhood for example), he ends up thinking hard about his current situation now. He thinks hard about what he has become, how he has ended up here, and what he truly is. That’s where the line: “The end was in the beginning” (Pg 571 Chapter 25) is said. This shows the reader that the protagonist no longer wants to be who he was in the past, and that his new life, his new “him” is just the beginning. The author does a great job at organizing and constructing the entire “journey” to end up with a purpose like no other, to discover the character’s true identity and place in this world.


message 13: by Fernando (last edited Aug 30, 2017 06:34PM) (new)

Fernando | 9 comments Fernando Murillo

Towards the beginning of the novel the main character the " Invisible Man" set out on a journey to find a job and a college to attend. This journey took place in the north where despite your skin color everyone was treated somewhat equal. Later on recognizing how differently whites and blacks interacted in the north then in the south. After him recognizing this he then started to have a different perspective of everything around him and himself. Before this journey he lived a complicated life and seeked peace in the world. Throughout this journey the invisible man grew as an individual and had a purpose for life. This journey adds to the the meaning of work in the way that his problems were revealed and were eventually resolved. It grew him into an adult and presented a new beginning towards the invisible man, making him have more knowledge about the world and about his life. Having all this knowledge lets him deal better with conflicts and adds a sense of freedom.


message 14: by Natalie (last edited Aug 31, 2017 02:21PM) (new)

Natalie | 9 comments Natalie Aziza

In the 'Invisible Man" by Ralph Ellison, the audience embarks on a long journey alongside the nameless protagonist that traces back to the very moment he, the protagonist, got admitted into college. We are recounted these life events, in great detail, to better understand what led him to become an "invisible man" to society, and, more specifically, who contributed to his radical change in character. It is safe to say that Mr. Bledsoe's decision on expelling him from the college may have been the turning point of his life. He was forced to abandon the college where he hoped to better himself professionally and prove his worth to world as an educated black man in a predominantly White society, all the while attempting to push for Black equality. He came with a vision. A vision he shared with "The Founder" and came out with empty hands; a shattered dream. In light of the incident with Mr. Norton, he was sent to New York as both a punishment and a means of gathering enough money to pay off his tuition. Initially, he was not fond of the idea, because accepting it would have meant accepting his fault in the incident. But after contemplating the matter, he knew that going to New York was his best bet, in the end, he had no other alternative. It was either that or returning to his family in shame. Of course, his pride got the best of him and he was sent on his way. Over the course of the novel, he encounters new figures and events that alter his vision and course. This journey allowed him to discover his true identity, and, by the end of the novel, he was no longer that idealistic man that came to the college, but a man devoid of any dream or hope for a successful future. He never did return to the college, he preferred to stay in New York where he felt he was able to express his "identity" freely without criticism. He found solace in his newfound underground cellar because it allowed him to contemplate several issues that he previously was unable to with the brotherhood and the college. (Ellison 571). Years of racism and prejudice had seen to his character transformation.


message 15: by Angelyn (new)

Angelyn Perez | 9 comments Angelyn Perez
Our journey in life is the path we take to get to where we want in life. This journey will consist of rollercoasters, twists and turns, bumpy roads, grief , and many of the things we do not wish to encounter. Regardless, of these obstacles, we still continue on the path of life, because those things made it worth while. In this novel, "The Invisible Man," the main character starts from the bottom and makes his way to the top slowly, but surely. He is an intellectual, but none of which matters because of his color. This restricts him, playing a significant role in the book. The journey he takes develops him as a character. He, himself, knows how much he has changed, when retelling the story. For example, in the first chapter he states, "All my life I had been looking for something, and everywhere I turned someone tried to tell me what it was. I accepted their answers too, though they were often in contradiction and even self-contradictory. I was naive. I was looking for myself and asking everyone except myself questions, which I, and only I, could answer. I took me a long time and much painful boomeranging of my expectations to achieve a realization everyone else appears to have been born with: That I am nobody but myself." (Ellison, 15) In this quote, we can foreshawdow the long journey that is ahead of him to come to terms with who he is. Ellison uses the metaphor "painful boomeranging" to indicate the trecherous road there is to come. "And now I realized that I couldn't return to Mary's, or to any part of my old life...Here, at least, I could try to think things out in peace, or, if not in peace, in quiet. I would take up residence underground. The end was in the beginning." (Ellison, 571) A sense of tranquility is given to the readers in this quote. The protagonist is accepting of his new fate and reflects on the journey he took to get to where he currently is. The journey from South to North, is crucial to the novel. Whereas down south, the protagonist -who has no name- would have been no one as vital like he was in Harlem. Up north, he was exposed to the bigger world and chased his dreams the farthest he could. He participated in what he believed in and met new people. This journey is what sheds light to his identity.


message 16: by Valeria (new)

Valeria Londono | 9 comments Valeria Londono

On the novel “Invisible man” by Ralph Ellison the main character has this journey in which he must go from the south to the north. By telling the readers that the main character is located in the south, the readers can understand with more facility the difficulties of the main character. But also readers can take in consideration the fact that the main character himself is a journey as well and is not all about the journey to New York. The main character grows as a person with more and more time that passes by thanks to all the things that he manages to surpass. With this being said the most logical example is to mention how this person, the main character, at the beginning thought he could change things, he could be a greater voice in that society and also succeed to the max but what he fails to realize not too son is that he isn’t really “that important” in a society like that one, but at least by the end he does and throughout the book he slowly starts to understand everything and finally accepts his fate. On the other side the fact that he actually was part of things he liked and said how he felt is what made him grow more as a person and helped him in this long journey to truly find himself because at the end of the day that’s one of the book’s main theme, a journey to figure out one's identity.


message 17: by Mariaura (new)

Mariaura Morocho | 9 comments In Ralph Ellison's, "Invisible Man" the narrator lives in the South and begins his journey when he travels to New York City. Although the narrator was not pleased with Dr.Blodesoes decisions of making him travel to the North, he still goes and commences to understand how life really works. In chapter 20, Ellison wrote about a situation in which impacted the narrator greatly, an event in which helped him realize how society works, an event in which he would have never experienced or learned from if he would have never travel to New York City. This scene was the shooting of Cliffton, a black unarmed man (Ellison Ch.20). Not, only that, but his trip also taught him more about himself and how his perceptions of being "invisible," completely changed as his journey in New York City continued. For example, in the beginning of the novel we as readers learn that the narrator feels "invisible," in a sense in which he feels as if he goes unnoticed because he blends in with everyone else, but after his journey and his struggles in New York City, we learn how he still feels invisible, but this time it's because he's not being his true self, hiding, under glasses and a hat he's still invisible.


message 18: by Lizbeth (new)

Lizbeth Aparicio | 9 comments Lizbeth Aparicio
Ralph Ellison's, "Invisible Man", is a book that feeds off of the narrator's journeys: both his physical and mental developments. It is a novel based on the concept of self-growth and coming out of one's comfort zone. Physically, the narrator is shown to take a trip in which he moves from his home down in the Southern United States and makes his way up to the considerably more liberal Northern United States. With his physical journey also came a transformation in the way that the narrator perceived and took in the world at his surroundings; with it came a major transformation in his mindset and in his own sense of self. After a long chain of abuses, the narrator eventually became significantly more aware of his own identity and was found to get more in touch with his African American roots. It is after the narrator undergoes his journey from the North to the South, and essentially from a state of naiveness to that which surrounded him to a state of awareness, that he finally can be said to have "developed" into his true self. It is after all of this that he goes into a state of literal invisibility, where he is left to further discover what sets him apart, and to take apart what and who he truly is, rather than what others have told him that he is his entire life.


message 19: by Alex (new)

Alex Azoy | 9 comments Alex Azoy

In Ralph Ellison’s novel,” The invisible man”, the protagonist goes through a life changing journey that completely alters his very own identity. Our Protagonist was conditioned to the harsh lifestyle of the lifestyle, naïve to the inhumane treatment his people were experiencing. This journey served as an eye opener, it also allowed the reader to see the evolution of the main character. As he experiences the way of life in the North our protagonist is able to clearly see just how opposite these two regions were. The narrator also discovers just how dualistic and spiteful man can be in the betrayal of Dr.Bledsoe, who he trusted. This whole journey is the evolution of an ignorant and naïve man into a man who wishes to not be influenced by these outside forces and carve his own path and morals into society. In the end the reader is present throughout this entire journey, it allows us to build an attachment to the character and sympathize or be ecstatic for him in any given situation. The journey was a masterful means to further and mold the identity of the main character and eventually led to him realizing he needed to be his own man.


message 20: by Adriana (new)

Adriana Gil | 9 comments Adriana Gil
In the novel "Invisible Man" written by Ralph Ellison, Ellison begins the story by giving a bit of information about the main character, where he goes to school, for example. The character lives in what readers know as the south. He is then kicked out of school and had the opportunity to move up towards the north to Harlem, New York. This journey of his, meant to be a punishment so he could save up enough money to pay for his education, was actually what made him realize how he can better himself as a person, he no longer had to be, as we call him, the "invisible man", trapped in the cruelty of harsh racism. He can have a brighter future in the north, where he is now able to achieve more success than he ever would down in the south.


message 21: by Laura (new)

Laura Gonzalez | 11 comments Laura Gonzalez
Ralph Ellison “Invisible man” is a tale of a man's excursion towards self-disclosure. The journey he had was from his underlying foundations in the south to the liberal north. His journey started with the grave oversight of demonstrating Mr. Norton, a white trustee of the narrators school, the underside of black life. In light of this occasion, the narrator is sent to New York by Dr. Bledsoe, under misrepresentations still obscure to him, to work until the point when the following semester begins and afterward return. At the point when the fact of the matter is uncovered, that Dr. Bledsoe never expected to readmit the narrator once more into the school, the narrator is left without a reason. His genuine excursion was the way he went from adjusting to being easygoing for movement, to acknowledging how invisible he truly is to everyone around him, and at last, the significance of his own black legacy, "....I had been as invisible to Mary as I had been to the Brotherhood. No, I couldn’t return to Mary’s, or the campus, or to the Brotherhood, or home. I could only move ahead or stay here, underground. So I would stay here until I was chased out. Here, at least, I could try to think things out in peace, or, if not in peace, in quiet. I would take up residence underground. The end was in the beginning” (pg 571). The narrators invisibility in a place where he is truly invisible to the outside world, and to come to at last grapple with it and understand his own particular singularity separated from what others make him out to be. In the Epilog, the narrator thinks back on his granddad's recommendation to him and chooses to record his story all together for us, as the perusers, to look past his intangibility, in spite of never knowing his name, "I carried my sickness and though for a long time I tried to place it in the outside world, the attempt to write it down shows me that at least half of it lay within me" (Ellison 575). This demonstrates he has found himself through passing on to us his story. His journey has been a troublesome one, however at last, he is representing each one of those that are undetectable, sitting tight for their own particular self-disclosure. By moving from the South it is a disclosure of his actual personality, on the off chance that he had remained in the South he would have kept carrying on with an existence with no significance or reason. Having moved toward the North has enabled him to locate the genuine importance of “invisibility".


message 22: by Alexandra (last edited Sep 01, 2017 07:34PM) (new)

Alexandra Younger | 9 comments Alexandra Younger
In Ralph Ellison's, "Invisible Man" the protagonist of the novel takes a significant physical journey that forever changed the course of his life. The protagonist was born and raised in the South; he never traveled to the North so he didn't know what the North had to offer. His journey was significant in bringing him out of his shell as well as his "good slave" image he had in the South. For instance in this scene, "Boy," he said, addressing me, "take this prize and keep it well. Consider it a badge of office. Prize it. Keep developing as you are and some day it will be filled with important papers that will help shape the destiny of your people." I was so moved that I could hardly express my thanks. A rope of
bloody saliva forming a shape like an undiscovered continent drooled upon the leather and I wiped it quickly away. I felt an importance that I had never dreamed" (Ellison). This is a prime example of how when the narrator lived in the south he had limitations, and obeyed the Whites without question. When he moved to the North, his world was flipped upside down. The narrator writes, "Then at the street intersection I had the shock of
seeing a black policeman directing traffic -- and there were white drivers in the traffic who obeyed his signals as though it was the most natural thing in the world. Sure I had heard of it, but this was real" (Ellison). Things like this were not seen whatsoever in the South. All of his experiences in New York introduced him to this new way of thinking, and ultimately led him to his epiphany, that being controlled by different people will never allow him to find himself.


message 23: by Jade (new)

Jade Berisso | 7 comments Jade Berisso

In the novel "Invisible Man" by Ralph Ellison the protagonist undergoes a long journey through the South to the North. From experiencing both different areas and identifying his invisibility he has come to see how society is. Growing up in the South and attending to the college that he got expelled from. To heading North to start things anew. He had gone through a rough patch from the violence and discrimination to people who put up a fake persona and when they showed their true colors they really weren't what they seemed to be. Such as Dr.Bledso who not only expelled the character, but gave him seven letters confirming his explosion instead of it being recommendations to help the character find a job in New York. And Brother Jack who at first seemed compassionate, helpful, intelligent, and nice and who supposedly claimed to uphold the rights of the oppressed. Actually was someone who possessed racist views and would perceive people as tools. In the novel the character refers to himself as "naive" and "invisible" and he struggles to be actually seen in this society. From traveling to the North and witnessing the way black people were treated and seeing how they have more freedom here than in the South. He was also astonished on seeing how the white people would treat the black people and vice versa. But even in Harlem their still was conflict it might of not been as bad as it was in the South, but racism was still around. The protagonists journey helped him find himself and open his mind to how society really is. He may have had some troubles along the way, but it was part of the process from living in the South to now being in the North and realizing his invisibility and how it affected society.


message 24: by JoMari (new)

JoMari | 9 comments Similar to that of what was written under the prompts for setting, the journey in which our narrator in "Invisible Man" takes would be that of moving from two totally different regions. This has an everlasting effect on him because of the rapid change. He was forced to face the reality that is life sooner than he would have if he would have stayed in the imaginary reality that was created by the college he attended. His physical Journey though didn't lead him to learning so much and not repeating from his previous mistakes. He happens to make although not the exact same mistake a mistake with similar reasoning behind it often till he notices the error of it all. Moving to New York had a critical role within our narrator's life because it was a place of Enlightenment, of different opportunities, of a new life, but these opportunities were not taken properly. He was moved into a Journey he did not know would end up the way it did. His high hopes that he had in resolving his issue and returning home would have never lead him to assumed that he would end up underground and invisible after such a movement he helped to start in the city of Harlem. He would have never assumed how unseen he really was from the world. Without the journey, he took to a place where he was not known by any family member or anyone for that matter, he had to create and identity of his own. Something he had not had before he even before he got to New York. His identity was his previous location once he left he had no identity he was nobody thus he was unseen and therefore he became invisible.


message 25: by Daniel (new)

Daniel A. | 9 comments Daniel Alvarez

The idea and definition of the word ‘journey’ in Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man” is more meaningful and gravitating than the generic meaning of it. Yes, the narrator in the novel does go through a physical journey, from the southern part of the United States to the northern part of the United States, specifically in Harlem, New York. However, it is not the physical aspect of the journey of the narrator that is significant; it is the abstract aspect of the journey the narrator passes through. The journey could be a journey of events and situations the narrator goes through and the journey of how the narrator’s mindset and sense of individuality of himself changes as a whole throughout the story. The transition into new surroundings and a completely different society with a relatively more serious mindset and sense of opinion inevitably caused the narrator to stop thinking two-dimensionally and grasp a deeper understanding of what and how people are like and how they view everything around them. In the physical part of the journey, the narrator goes through series and series of events of cruelty and even starts to feel a bit dissociated with himself sometimes. However, at the end of the day, each day, it would add a bit more comprehension of things little by little until it ultimately stacked up to a quantity where the narrator has essentially altered his entire point of view. The physical and abstract and mental part of the journey is just a whole process of evolution within the character’s mind and sense of self-worth and individuality. The physical journey begins the abstract journey. At the end of the novel, the ‘journey’ concludes and the narrator is left with himself and only himself. However, everything that he had went through was not even close to being nothing, as the said journey is what made the narrator arguably a person who is way more aware of himself than he was before everything unfolded; innocent and practically ‘blinded’ of what was really happening around him beneath what was seen through his eyes.


message 26: by Angelina (new)

Angelina Navarro | 9 comments For the most part, clumsy hands will always try to grasp aimlessly at the whipping reigns of life. It waits for no one, nor does it accommodate to the pace at which one's two feet walk. Eventually, however, those two feet will begin some sort of endeavor in hopes of catching up, beginning their journey of understanding, along with growth and development tying into it all, weaving their way through. It seems that for our main character, his journey is not merely a physical travel from the south to the north, where his horizons broaden, but there is a significant amount of journeying for his soul as well. As a person who identified as a young black male attending college in the south, one associates his surroundings and the hardships that came with him. However it should also be noted that, initially, he was a person of color who believed in genuine obedience towards white men, which in turn could get you somewhere. This was sort of opposed to what his grandfather told him to do, which was to pretend that he was in good graces with the white folk, but to internally resent them and all that they stood for in which was unjust. As the character proceeds his travels, he becomes a witness of many things, and a culprit of others. In the end, the character's journey inflicts so much upon him that his internal state has reached a destination in which he is almost the opposite of what he started out as, and in all honesty, it is refreshing to have such a character.


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