Invisible Man Study Guide

Invisible Man Study Guide

“Invisible Man” is a novel that requires an adult reader. Ralph Ellison wrote it in 1952 and put all social and intellectual issues surrounding racial issues into the text. He also employed all his creative skills making the novel a fusion of jazz sounds, surreal events, different writing styles and extraordinary characters. 

The evil doesn’t have a face. Who is this man? What is the purpose of his life? What motivates him to wake up in the morning and do the things he is doing on a daily basis? Nobody knows. Life doesn’t explain its reasons, and neither does the author leaving his readers wondering. 

The protagonist of the book is an African American man. He used to live in the South where he had many humiliating experiences: from being forced to participate in a boxing battle to being a subject of electric shock experiments. There’s no way to count the number of times he was betrayed, used, and beaten up. 

He went to college on a scholarship and obtained high enough positions in the Brotherhood. Yet he remains invisible to the society that prefers to see the idealized version of life around them. He himself transforms from a man who we respect and sympathize with into a man capable of doing cruel and selfish things.

What’s fascinating about the book is this smooth transition from a particular man into a general description of the whole historic era. The era of terrible actions and reign of evil in the minds of millions. 

The purpose of this evil it to sow fear in any way possible. The fight against evil is terrifying and difficult, in part because it’s invisible, it’s everywhere and in everybody. But it’s possible because the evil is tangible. Thousands of broken lives, destroyed families, and lost souls felt it. Now it’s your time to experience it with the “Invisible Man” book.

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