Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Invisible Man - Ralph Ellison
I liked this book. Set in the Southern states of America and in Harlem, this novel looks at an African-American man who has repeatedly been mistreated by the white population as well as members of the African-American population. When we first meet him he is kind and beleives that education is the path to betterment...but after things fall apart for him he begins to think differently. There is so much to this novel, so many things happen in the 500+ pages that sometimes it seems to overwhelming. It was difficult to read, sad and gut-wrenching in parts, but I think it is a very important read. It made me think a lot about issues of race and how things have changed (and how they haven't) in the last 100 years. There are parts ofthis book that are going to stay with me forever. For example there is a part where one of the Brothers tells the narrator about escaping to the North after being on a chain gang for 19 years 6 months. Another line that made me think came when the narrator was thinking about the Brotherhood (a group headed by mostly influential white men).
"They were blind, bat blind, moving only by the echoed sounds of their voices. And because they were blind they would destroy themselves.... Here I thought they accepted me because they felt that color made no difference, when in reality it made no difference because they didn't see either color or men."
Everyone should read this book..even if it takes you a bit of time..push through!