Racial Inequality And Discrimination In The Invisible Man

Submitted By 14kahlp
Words: 895
Pages: 4

The Invisible Man represents the issues of racial inequality and discrimination as the protagonist (T.I.M.) is, “. . . invisible. . .simply because people refuse to see [him]. . .” (Ellison 1) individuals seem to look through his character not because of social class or sex but by his color. The idea of racism and discrimination is morally wrong; to oppress a race from opportunity simply on how they look can never ethically be right. T.I.M. is viewed as invisible to the white man, as entertainment at times, and unfairly blamed for issues. Throughout the book the moral issues within the division between whites and blacks is demonstrated through the battle royal, the paint shop, and the Brotherhood. The novel is a bold statement of the immorality in the mistreatment of the common black man in the fifties as the white man tried to “keep [the] nigger boy running,” (33).
The battle royal shows how black men are, “. . .hidden right out in the open. . .” (154) as the white men receiving the brutal entertainment don’t see the young black men as people but a show. Its clearly immoral to take a group of recently graduated students and view them as manipulative for your own, crude entertainment. The wealthy white men forced the kids to beat each other even blindfolding T.I.M., forcing him to feel “. . .a sudden fit of blind terror.” (21) showing that the black race was powerless. This mistreatment is solely from the origins that the group of young men are black as multiple spectators yell repeatedly “. . .Let me at those black sonsabitches.” (21). To treat a people as worthless and invisible because of color is something that no moral human is responsible of. In result, through the battle royal Ralph Ellison begins to show the immorality of the white race in the 1950’s by the example that they are not seen as equals but as entertainment.
In performing a serious operation -- especially one on the brain -- consent must be given by the individual receiving the treatment. After the accident in the basement of the paint shop T.I.M. had an operation performed on his brain but was not given the opportunity to choose whether or not to have it. The doctors were arguing the neural treatment saying that if “. . .were a New Englander with a Harvard background.” (236) the treatment could not be done. In every way this situation screams immorality as Ralph Ellison indicates that, not background, but race decided whether the operation could be performed as New Englanders are typically white. In hindsight T.I.M. became the guinea pig of an experiment rather than having a life saving operation. Using a human being as an experiment is moral in no way as the United States has trouble using animals for experiments. The experiment destroys part of who T.I.M. is as when he is asked “What is your name?” (239) after the operation he doesn't know the answer. Ralph Ellison brings to life the idea that the black man was seen as an animal, lesser through the experiment on T.I.M.; as he shows the habit of white men to see blacks as invisible as humans and the immorality it brings.
The Brotherhood was introduced as an equal affiliation where blacks and whites could work together towards a moral objective. As the novel wore one Ralph