' Equal Discrimination In Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man

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4/11/13 Equal Discrimination In the novel Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison, the main character of the book, simply named "the narrator", encounters a plethora of people that leave a significant impact on the narrator's life. In particular, the narrator's encounter with three women in the story do just that, and each encounter is significant in that they each enhance the overall meaning of the novel that blacks during the time of the Harlem Renaissance were viewed as nothing more than objects. In the very first chapter of Invisible Man, the narrator has a rather awkward encounter with a white woman. During this part of the novel, the narrator and many other blacks are being forced to partake in a battle royale; but before they begin, they encounter "a magnificent blonde-stark naked" (19). Needless to say, many people,…show more content…
Sibyl is the wife of one of the Brotherhood members. At first, the narrator tries to use Sybil in order to find out about the actual goals of the brotherhood. However, when he tries to do this, he only succeeds in getting Sybil and himself drunk. It is revealed to the reader that Sybil doesn't actually have any interest in the brotherhood, and just like the woman before her, wants the narrator to fulfill her sexual fantasies with a black man. Just like the woman in chapter 19, Sybil views the narrator as an object or tool, and she tries to use him to fulfill her sexual desires. The uncanny similarities between Sybil and the woman from chapter 19 simply highlight the fact that racism wasn't put out in the north and that it was only a little more subtle. Just like the southerners from chapter 1, the woman in chapter 19 and Sybil both view the narrator (and blacks in general) as tools to be used; in this case, tools for sexual gratification for their fantasies of copulating with a black man. This shows that blacks were viewed as not people, but as
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