Invisible Man Essay

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In the following excerpt, Lillard places Invisible Man within the epic tradition and calls the novel "a most successful attempt ... to produce the great American Negro epic. "

[In Invisible Man], Ellison attempted to portray the theme of Negro endurance and cultural continuity by devising a plot which would include a maximum of experiences common to the American Negroes, but which could be employed by a wandering hero in an episodic manner. For this plot he relied heavily on the social migration theme that promised equality to the Southern Negro but shattered his hopes in an economic jungle which ended with a dispossession in Harlem....

In the novel one unnamed youth progresses from a high school setting in Greenwood to the Southern college for Negroes and from there to Harlem. He does not remain in Harlem but seeks employment in the white neighborhoods of New York City and expresses...

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This section contains 2,112 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Invisible Man Study Guide
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Invisible Man from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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