2. Major themes in Invisible Man include the fact that African Americans need to and do tell lies to the white man in order to please him. This is practiced by every African American who knows what’s good for himself. Dr. Bledsoe affirms this on page 139 when talking to the protagonist about his misdemeanor. The protagonist does this throughout the entire story. When he talks to Mr. Norton, to rich, white folks in New York, and to the committee members. Another major theme is that the protagonist is an invisible man. He lives in a society that is racist and blind.
And every single African American is an invisible man, for no matter how far a black man gets in life or how much he succeeds, he will always “boomerang” back to his original starting point. The protagonist states this everywhere in the book, and admits and acknowledges this on page 573, and knows that this will always be an aspect of American society. 3. Throughout the book the protagonist develops and changes in numerous ways. In the beginning, he acts like that of a good, African American college student who always follows orders; especially from white people.
However, throughout the story he starts to change his mindset, his way of thinking, his way of acting, and his way of speaking. The experiences with Mr. Norton, those with the Golden Day, his journey up north, and his actions with the Brotherhood all had a tremendous impact on his character development. To me, the event that had the most influence on his character development was the incident with the couple that was being evicted. This totally changed him and his personality. He became more open to the social problems facing his people, and he did something to make a difference about it. . The setting in which the Invisible Man takes place is what makes this book so interesting and exciting. It is the backbone of the structure of the book, for without this setting, the book would be nothing. The time period it takes place in (1950s) can show the readers that this is happening in their time, since the book was published in 1952. It could also link other African Americans who read this book by finding a certain connection with the experiences of the protagonist and theirs.
This book could have sprouted actions by African Americans or others who felt a need for change. The fact that this book takes place in both the south and the north shows us the different attitudes and mindset of not only African Americans, but whites in the 1950s. Harlem was the perfect setting for it was known for being a major ground for African American movements and activities, therefore, making the book more authentic and genuine. 5. In the Invisible Man, the protagonist is the prime example of Ellison’s point that he is trying to get across.
The fact that the black man can never fully succeed in this country, for he is always thwarted in everything he does and he is always discriminated against. Ellison also points out in his book that African Americans, under the eyes of the whites, are nothing, and that African Americans should be happy with what they have. These problems are still present today, which goes to show you that even fifty years later, America is still a racist society and no matter what any does, whites are still going to be blind in regarding African Americans; they will forever be invisible men.