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The use of this Bird Motif in Invisible Man Abstract: According to A Handbook to Literature, theme refers to a "recurrent repetition of a word, word, situation, or idea, for example tends to unite a work via its capability to recall earlier incidents" (264). 1 such type of theme that has seemed to receive less critical attention is Ellison's treatment of birds. Hence, my aim in this essay is to examine the references to birds in Invisible Man, attempting to show how Ellison uses the picture of the bird to represent various forms of entrapment. In a 1965 interview, when asked his view on the function of the novelist, Ralph Ellison stated the following: I believe the great novelist attempts to give his reader with colorful depictions of particular crucial and abiding patterns of human presence. This he tries to do by reducing the chaos of human experience to artistic form. And if successful he provides the reader with a fresh vision of reality. For then through the symbolic action of the characters and plot he enables the reader to discuss kinds of expertise not instantly his own. And so the reader can recognize the significance and worth of the presented encounter as a whole. (Kostelanetz 10) Provided Ellison's remark, one can easily understand the importance he placed on utilizing imagery that represents substantial life experiences. This Ellison speaks here of "significance" and "value" as his desired effect seems most crucial to his overall purpose for a writer. Ellison's novel, Invisible Man concentrates on the black individual's search for social and racial identity, and symbolism is frequently used to underline his character's sense of entrapment. Most readers of Invisible Man read...