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Invisible Man

Invisible Man: Ralph Ellison Ralph Waldo Ellison was born in Oklahoma on March 1, From 1933 to 1936, Ellison attended TuskegeeInstitute, intent upon pursuing a career in music. Likethe protagonist in the novel, Ellison grew up in thesouth, then later moved to New York City. In New York hemet the leading black figures of that day, such asRichard Wright and Langston Hughes, who he saidencouraged his own writing ambitions. Ellison becameassociated with the Federal Writer's Project, where hepublished short stories and articles in such magazines asNew Challenge and New Masses. Since 1970, Ralph Ellisonhas been professor of the humanities at New YorkUniversity and has lectured extensively on black folkculture. The influences of his early interests in musichelped to create a richly symbolic, metaphorical languageof his novels, which he is most known for. In his works,Ellison well-spokenly describes the problems of Americanracism that continue to plaque the country in all areastoday. In 1952, Ralph Ellison's novel The Invisible Mangave voice to the feelings of many black Americans whofelt that they were not "seen" by American society. Thenovel won the National Book Award in 1953 and was alsopublished two years before the Supreme Court ruled theBrown vs. Board of Education to outlaw separate but equaleducation in America. While the Civil War freed theslaves, it did not integrate blacks into the Americanmainstream. As did so many from this generation, thenameless protagonist of Invisible Man leaves the Southfor New York City. Here he becomes a pawn for apolitical group, and he discovers he is not seen as anindividual human being. After becoming involved in aHarlem riot, he realizes that he must deal with people ofboth races. He also realizes that many people see him asa Black Man, and therefore his real nature is unseen bythem-- this makes him "invisible".Many times, people, often introverted and alienatedfrom the rest of socie...

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