Invisible Man Essay

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In the following excerpt, Schafer explores how Ellison's "invisible man" can be seen as an antihero in search of an identity.

The anti-hero of Invisible Man, though we come to know him intimately, remains nameless. He is no-man and everyman on a modern epic quest, driven by the message his grandfather re veals in a dream: "To Whom It May Concern ... Keep This Nigger-Boy Running." His primary search is for a name—or for the self it symbolizes. During his search he is given another name by the Brotherhood, but it is no help. When he becomes a "brother," he finds that brotherhood does not clarify his inner mysteries.

In creating his anti-hero, Ellison builds on epic and mythIc conventions. The nameless voyager passes through a series of ordeals or trials to demonstrate his stature. First, he passes through the initiation—rites of our society&mdash...

(read more from the Critical Essay #3 section)

This section contains 2,005 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.