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The Invisible Man Essay

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Carmen De La Cruz

Ms. Streicher

Honors ELA

November 27 2012

The Invisible Man Essay

At the end of the novel, the narrator says," whence all this passion toward conformity anyway- diversity is the word let man keep up his many pares and you'll have no tyrant states. Why, if they follow this conformity business they'll end up by forcing me, an invisible man, to become white, which is not a color but lack of one...America is woven of many strands, I would recognize them and see it so remain." The debate between the value of diversity vs. conformity or consensus- is still very much alive today. The novel contributes three different views to this debate; there is the brotherhood's view, the white people's view and the invisible man's view. The novel offers us the how the white people command and tempt many people to conform to their race. Everyone during this time period feels a pressure to become white. I believe everyone sees the whites as holding a high place in society because the whites themselves believe that they are superior. Because of this they are given the power and rank in society to control everything. Their status is then engrained into everyone. And who doesn't want to be powerful? No one wants to be different or inferior. Therefore people would like to conform to the white expectation. This type of conformity is shown in The Invisible Man, "And that I, a little black man with an assumed name should die because a big black man in his hatred and confusion over the nature of a reality that seemed controlled solely by white men whom I knew to be as blind as he, was too much, too outrageously absurd," (559). In this part of the novel the narrator is telling us of Ras. Ras turned out to be the leader of the riot in Harlem. But

why would the Brotherhood whose purpose was to keep Harlem protected, completely turn it around? The reason I found most suitable would be power. Ras had power envy. He didn't want to conform to everyone's inferior to white's view. But instead make his own. Although Ras didn't want to conform, he still did believe in the white's high status, he is envious because he knows that everyone wants to conform to their rules. Ras wants to be the ruler and maker of these rules; he wants to conform to the superior white status group. He still wants to be white just like everyone else, but in a different sense.

The other example of conformity would be the brother hood's view. In the brotherhood their main purpose was to aid their oppressed people. But the narrator notices that this takes

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