Presentation on theme: "Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison"— Presentation transcript:
1 Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison AP Literature and Composition
2 Bell WorkChoose three chapters from How to Read Literature Like a Professor and explain how they could aid in the understanding of the novel Invisible Man.
3 Author’s Biographical Information born in Oklahoma and trained as a musician at Tuskegee Institute from 1933 to 1936.a visit to New York and a meeting with Richard Wright led to his first attempts at fiction.Invisible Man won the National Book Award and the Russwurm Award.taught at many colleges including Bard College, the University of Chicago, and New York University where he was Albert Schweitzer Professor of Humanities from 1970 through 1980.died in 1994.
4 Historical Information Complete novel published in 1952Passage of “Jim Crow” laws by southern statesGreat MigrationBooker T. Washington (education=equality)W.E.B. Dubois (openly fight for rights/career)Marcus Garvey (“Back to Africa” movement)Existentialism (sought to define the meaning of individual existence in a seemingly meaningless universe)
5 Characteristics of the Genre Bildungsroman (individual’s growth and development within the context of a defined social order) Example: Great ExpectationsPicaresque (satirical account of a rogue’s progress through society) Example: Huck FinnExistentialist novel (philosophical system concerned with free will, choice, and personal responsibility) Example: SpeakAfrican-American fictionSocial protest
6 Plot SummaryRalph Ellison's Invisible Man is a first-person novel containing an unnamed narrator who comes from a poor family from the South. The narrator is haunted by his grandfather's deathbed warning against conforming to the wishes of white people because the young man sees that as the way to be successful. One bizarre night, he ends up with a scholarship to a black college, but his misadventures leave him penniless and alone in Harlem.
7 His college president, first employer, and leaders of a political movement all conspire to use and abuse him in ways that range from ridiculous to cruel. However, the narrator manages to emerge strengthened through the process and determined to fight for racial equality.
8 The Prologue: The End is the Beginning “Light confirms my reality, gives birth to my form…. Without light I am not only invisible but formless as well; and to be unaware of one’s form is to live a death…. The truth is the light and light is the truth.” (pp. 6-7)
9 Chapter 1: The Smoker "(What Did I Do to Be So) Black and Blue“ Lyrics by Andy Razaf Performed by Louis ArmstrongCold empty bed...springs hurt my head Feels like ole Ned...wished I was dead What did I do...to be so black and blueEven the mouse...ran from my house They laugh at you...and all that you do What did I do...to be so black and blueI'm white...inside...but, that don't help my case That's life...can't hide...what is in my faceHow would it end...ain't got a friend My only sin...is in my skin What did I do...to be so black and blue (instrumental break)How would it end...I ain't got a friend My only sin...is in my skin What did I do...to be so black and blue
10 Chapters 2-6: IM in College Norton & TruebloodThe Golden DayBarbeeBledsoeLifting the Veil of Ignorance by Charles KeckBooker T. Washington National Monument at Tuskegee University
17 Author’s StyleJazz-inspired writing, almost lyrical due to sound devices“Open” styleNarrator:1. (p.9)“And beneath the swiftness of the hot tempo there was a slower tempo and a cave and I enteredit and looked around and heard an old woman singing a spiritual…”Diction: conversational; moderate vocabularySyntax: Stream-of-consciousness (run-ons)
18 Author’s Style Jim Trueblood: 2. (p.52) “We ain’t doing so bad, suh. ’Fore they heard ’bout what happen to us out here I couldn’t git no help from nobody.”Diction: dialect; illiterateSyntax: short and simple sentencesNarrator:3. (p. 111) “Here upon this stage the black rite of Horatio Alger was performed to God’s own acting script, with millionaires come down to portray themselves…”Diction: formal; elevated vocabularySyntax: correct and elegant
19 Author’s StyleSurrealistic—tends to deal with the world of dreams and unconsciousness (Harlem riots)Naturalistic—faithful to small details of outward reality or nature (College)
20 Significant Quotes "I am an invisible man." (p. 3) "Live with your head in the lion's mouth. I want you to overcome 'em with yeses, undermine 'em with grins, agree 'em to death and destruction, let 'em swoller you till they vomit or bust wide open." (p.16)"You're hidden right out in the open - that is, you would be only if you realized it." (p. 154)“Once I thought my grandfather incapable of thoughts about humanity, but I was wrong.” (p. 580)
21 Characters Narrator- unnamed protagonist/Prizefighter/Hero Mr. Norton- The College Trustee /BenefactorJim Trueblood-Incestuous Sharecropper/The True “Brother”Dr.Bledsoe- College President/The SelloutRev. Homer Barbee-Speaker at the last chapel/Blind OratorLucius Brockway-Supervisor at Liberty Paints/The SelloutMary Rambo-takes the narrator into her home/The “Mother”Brother Jack-recruits the narrator into the Brotherhood/The White LiberalBrother Tarp-gives narrator the ankle chain/The true “Brother”Ras the Exhorter-African Nationalist/Orator
22 CharactersTod Clifton-Brotherhood member who was killed resisting arrest/The PrizefighterSybil-crazy woman who uses a rape fantasy to seduce the narrator/The Taboo White WomanThe Grandfather-The Ancestor (represents the past)Rinehart-The Trickster (represents a new survival strategy for the future)
23 Setting and Significance A Black college in the SouthNew York City, especially Harlem
24 Literary DevicesMotifs: blindness, invisibility, dreams, violence, sex, oratory, music, power, familySymbols: black Sambo doll, the coin bank, Liberty Paint, the Brotherhood, briefcase, the road to asylumSimiles (p.21): “like a baby or a drunken man,” “like drunken dancers,” “like blind, cautious crabs”
25 Literary Devices Imagery : Chapter 1—the fight (“blind cautious crabs”)Chapter 2—description of the landscape and school campusHyperbole-Chapter 3— Scene at the Golden DayIrony: “Keep America Pure with Liberty Paints”“If It’s Optic White, It’s the Right White”Personification (p.536) “street’s signs were dead”
26 AllusionChapter 1-the Emancipation ProclamationChapter 7- story of Jonah from the Old Testament (narrator ‘s arrival in Harlem)Juxtaposition (Chapter 2)-conversation (Norton, Trueblood,IM)Anaphora (Chapter 7): The vet’s advice to the narrator—”Play the game…”
27 Polysyndeton (Epilogue)--“take [himself] by the throat and choke [himself] until [his] eyes bulged and [his] tongue hung out and wagged…”--
28 Possible ThemesIdentityDuplicityInvisibilityBlindnessRacismPower