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Use of Symbolism In Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man Writer

Assignment id 1003844
Discipline Arts Entertainment
Assignment type Essay
Words 1232
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Ralph Ellison uses several symbols to highlight the narrator's attempt to escape stereotypes along with his theme of racial inequalities in his book, Invisible Man. In particular, the symbolism of the cast-iron is one that haunts the narrator through the publication. Ellison's character discovers a little, cast-iron lender which implies the derogatory stereotypes of a black guy in society at the time. From its "wide-mouthed, red-lipped, and very black" features, to its suggestion of a black guy entertaining for insignificant rewards, this ignites anger in Ellison's narrator. The cast-iron bank represents the constant struggle with the ability of stereotypes, which is a substantial theme throughout the publication.1 The bank plays a main part in the publication by helping the writer's message of stereotypes, the narrator's search for an individual identity, and his own languished desire for equality. The narrator is continually attempting to escape the racial profiling by everyone around him. The failure of the effort is apparent from the inability to get rid of the broken parts of the bank, which represents the inability to escape out of the stereotypes he is affiliated with. The narrator repeatedly alludes to the fact he's generalized due to his black heritage and therefore, invisible to society. This is especially clear when he finds out the cast-iron bank. The bank is in the shape of a black slave with stereotyped features. The simple fact that it was a servant with a generous smile, eating coins, was demeaning. It frustrated that the narrator that this is a comedic object, clearly made for the amusement of white society at the cost of the black men and women. The simple fact that the lender is "a very black, red-lipped and wide mouthed negro" (Ralph Ellison, 319),.

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