Parables and Legends in Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man

Image found here. Ralph Ellison wrote Invisible Man, a novel that refined the shape of American literature. This novel reflects America’s racial divide in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s through an anonymous black man’s journey (the narrator). Ellison uses an array of themes, motifs and symbols to get his message across. Throughout Invisible Man, Ellison also incorporates many parables and legends, important to the ultimate message. I would define parables as stories that teach a lesson and legends as how stories came to be. Below are a few examples of each. Example of Legends Story Behind the Narrator The narrator’s frame of mind and how he thinks he is what he was taught and raised to think, through his grandfather and his ideologies about the white man. The advice given by his grandfather is to fight back as hard as he can against people against blacks, even when he is gone he wants his grandson to keep fighting.(Ellison 16) “Let ’em swoller you till they vomit or bust wide open” “The narrator’s difficulty in leaving his past behind resonates throughout his story, from the recurring voice and image of his grandfather to the physical reminders of his past that he carries with him throughout the novel.” (Dykema-VanderArk) Jim Trueblood’s Story Trueblood tells his personal story to Mr. Norton and the narrator about his sexual encounter with his daughter. The narrator is disgusted with the incest, but since Mr. Norton (the white Trustee the narrator is watching over) is so interested the narrator has no choice. Trueblood later explains to the men how he was treated after the incident. He expressed...

Jewels of Africa

     Africa holds a huge proportion of the world’s natural resources. It’s countries are abundant in numerous natural resources including oil, uranium, copper, gold, platinum, tin, diamonds, timber, and bio-fuels. The continent contains large amounts of Coltan, which is not only a great conductor of electricity, but it is also a mineral used in modern technology such as cell phones and computers. Contracts should ensure that if and when the value of the resources increase, the windfall gain goes the appropriate country and not solely to the company. However, a simple solution to this problem is to renegotiate these bad contracts so that countries will receive a “windfall-profit”. (UNECA)      An abundance of oil is found in and near the northern African countries such as Libya and Algeria leading southward through Angola. Other elements and minerals such as diamonds, gold, and uranium lie just outside of the oil dominant regions. The darker colors on the map display oil regions, while the lighter pink and light green colors symbolize consumable goods and precious expensive metals & minerals. I found this image here.      Rhetorical aspects of this map show pathos because it shows how Africa produces many resources such as oil precious metals and machinery items along with other resources and how other countries just use Africa for the material and resources it has while also belittling it and treating it like it’s a place that has no value and no usefulness. So the main focus of emotions used for this map would be sadness and feelings of sympathy and empathy. This map also uses logos because it uses facts to show what specifically what...

The Overlooked Intersection–BEA

      Atlanta is known to have pockets of rich and poor areas. I have never really noticed until I began school here at Georgia State. Living on Piedmont Avenue, a one-way street, encouraged me to take different routes to get to places. The intersection of Pine St. and Courtland St. was something that caught my eye immediately. The first time I saw this intersection I was on the way home from Publix on Piedmont. I took Courtland to get back, and it dawned on me that this intersection was completely different from the surrounding area. The built environment surrounding the intersection of Pine Street and Courtland Street near Metro Atlanta’s Task force for the homeless can be seen as an area that discriminates against class and race. Gentrification is a term that can be used to describe this area because large amounts of homeless people are being pushed out of the redeveloped locations that are undergoing massive increases in property values, into the secluded intersection. The gentrification present in the intersection is resulting in marginalized communities that shift the community’s’ culture, places those affected farther into poverty while also putting these individual’s public health in danger.       I remember observing about 15- 20 people along the sidewalk of the intersection, some had huge bags and others had nothing but the clothes on their back. The street was covered in garbage, and two nearby parking lots were completely empty. Observing the intersection made me question a lot of things like- how did the environment get to this condition? why were there nice houses on the other...

We should open our minds and listen before we speak…

What I’ve learned strictly from being in a public school system is that physical attributes such as my age, my race, and my gender plays a role in how I am perceived. I’ve always heard the term “racism” thrown around as an annoyance to the majority of people. But to me, it is my life, how I am perceived, and how my voice is heard. The recent deaths of John Crawford, Renisha McBride, Eric Garner, Michael Brown and many others not publicized have led to increasing mistrust between black Americans in communities and police and the criminal justice system. Blacks, as I, feel as if their voices are consistently muted; when we talk about racism and discrimination, we are told “we are making it about race”, as if our identities and how we are seen in society are just cards we can take out and put away. This was especially made clear to me in the past few months. One of my teachers in high school liked talking about current events in the news every day before class. One day he took the time to inform the class about the Michael Brown shooting for those who weren’t aware or caught up. After summarizing the events of the shooting, he concluded that Michael Brown deserved what he got and the lack of indictment was just. The feeling of disappointment I felt as one of four black students in the room was indescribable. I was not upset that he had a differing opinion from mine; I was upset that he as a figure of authority and a trusted educator presented a...
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