Essay about African American and White Men

Submitted By postman96
Words: 738
Pages: 3

Adam Post
Mr. Bilbo
English III 4th
November 26, 2012
Invisible Man The book Invisible Man was written in the late 1940’s by Ralph Ellison to show many of the issues that African Americans faced with racism. Ralph Ellison was born up in the North, where racism wasn’t as prevalent, but when he went to college, he moved down to the South for a higher education. The drastic change brought shock to Ellison, which led him to his writing career. Throughout his career, Ellison wrote about what he saw in the south through fictional stories, such as in Invisible Man, where an African American narrator who remains nameless during the whole story goes through how he got to where he is now as someone who isn’t seen by society. When looked at through the historical lens, problems emerge throughout the story that retain to racism, such as white men who didn’t show racism, white men looking down on African Americans, and even African American Americans looking down on themselves. This book was one of the many that brought the problem of racism to the public, and showed what awful reality racism had become. Starting from page one of the novel, most white men in the book looked down on African Americans because of the color of their skin. Ellison’s time in the South really wrote this book for him, showing him how southerners treated African Americans as a group. In the book, Ellison showed this through whites saying things such as “you can’t be soft with these people,” which really grasps the way racism effected the South (Ellison 104). Another way Ellison reveals the tone of racism is how the African American men are pushed around. All throughout the novel white men are telling them they shouldn’t act a certain way, or that they shouldn’t “act that way with a white man in the house” (Ellison 98). Sentences like this one really prove the point that racism was a massive problem in the South during the 40’s and 50’s, and still is around today. Another side of racism that is shown is the non-racist people in the story. The reasoning behind having a white man who isn’t racist can be tied to Ellison’s childhood in the North. In the book, the character Mr. Norton isn’t a man who lets racism lead his life. He talks to the main character like a normal human, instead of writing him off like most of society would. He also sticks up for the main character and takes the blame instead of stepping back and staying out of trouble, which he easily would have gotten away with. There may not have been many that weren’t racist in the time the book was written, but they still stood up for what’s right, the equality of all, no matter the color of the skin. The final way Ellison’s historical background comes into play throughout the book is the way African…