Welcome to the Invisible Man wiki


For Invisible Man, the students have free reign over what they would like to examine and analyze pertaining to Ellison's work. Click on the links below to see what each group came up with.

PLEASE NOTE: You must be diligent about citing ALL of your sources (both textual and multimedia) both within your wiki and in the Works Cited section. If you have 7 sources listed in your Works Cited section, then I expect to see each of those 7 sources cited within the body of your wikispace (which pieces of information came from each source) and vice versa. If you do not accurately cite your sources within your wikispace, you will be penalized according to the English Department's Plagiarism Policy.



The Great Depression and its Influence on the Invisible Man
Relate the conditions of the Great Depression to the social, political, and economic aspects depicted throughout Invisible Man. (The Brotherhood is an example of a communist organization which were similar to the groups prevalent throughout the 1930's. They were looking to improve the conditions of their lives.)

Literary Allusions within Invisible Man (importance of themes such as blindness)
Will examine references made to famous works such as The Odyssey.

The color references within the novel (black, white and gray)
We will analyze the sybolism and significance of when these three colors are brought up in the novel.

The invisible man being a traitor in the "white man's society"
Relates to the Grandfather's dying words in the first chapter where he states that he was a traitor to enemy lines, and he wants his grandchildren to overcome the "enemy."

Color Symbolism

Jazz
How jazz is portrayed in the novel and how it relates to the plot of the novel as well as its structure.

Sex and the Degradation of Women
Relates to the use of sex/exploitation of women in The Invisible Man and its intended effects of power, fear, and control and examines the historical context of sex and the role of women with regard to sex/virginity/rape in 1930's and 40's American society.

The use of the 'wise fool' as an archetype
Explores the use of the crazy man or the fool as a means of prophetic speech, as a means of telling a truth other, more sane characters refuse to believe, acknowledge, or are too ignorant to know. We are going to look at three main characters in the invisible man - The Vet, Ras The Exhorter/Destroyer, and the grandfather - and see how this archetype is used in the Invisible Man. We are then going to explore the origin of the archetype and reflect upon how it is used in other works of literature.

The Invisible Man's growth through his speeches
Shows how he has grown from his graduation speech through the rest of the novel including the eviction and Brotherhood speeches.

Historical Blacks and Their Roles in/Influence on the Invisible Man
The mentions of historical black figures (Booker T. Washington, Frederick Douglass, and Marcus Garvey) in the novel, how they affect the life and attitude of the Invisible Man, and their references at certain times through the novel.

Leadership, Ideology and Thought: A Closer Look at the Movers and Shakers Behind the African American Struggle for Progress
An analysis of the philosophical rifts within the American Civil Rights Movement. We will outline the disparaties between the various visions of "progress" that IM encounters in the novel and trace their historical foundings while focusing on the specific organizations that professed these views and the leaders that organized them. Cake will be served. The revolution will not be televised. Red rover, red rover. Leave the gun, take the canoli and brace yourselves for a metaphorical quest through a sea of intolerance and bigotry to to the mountains of social justice and the white whales and harpoons, conch shells and other literary symbols that have made the common denominator of maturity significantly lower in classrooms nationwide.

Dream Analysis in Invisible Man
A look into the role and significance of dreams throughout Invisible Man based on Freudian and Jungian theories.

The significance behind the senses
Refers to the acknowledgment of sounds, sights, feelings, smells etc. in the Invisible Man and how it affects the Invisible Man, the Brotherhood and of course society in general. We hope to tie in historical references such as the impact of sound a.k.a. jazz music in movements or the impact of one’s appearance (sight) in judgment or molding of history and society within the book.

Analysis of the Diction of Key Characters
This topic will explain why the author makes each character speak the way they do and why its important to their contirbution to the main idea of the story. For each character we will pick out one or two key quotes, analyze the diction and syntax, and say how it relates to the novel.

Significance of death and rebirth in the novel
Our topic compares the death of different characters, from the Grandpa in the first chapter to Clifton. Furthermore, we will discuss the Invisible Man's attitude towards death and relate it to his opinions on the value of a person.

Family
Our topic will explore the role that the Invisible Man's family plays in the story. We will also talk about the attitude that he has towards his family.

Significance of The Invisible Man not having a name
Our topic will analyze why the invisible man is not given a name throughout the novel. We will also provide commentary on how this affects the work as a whole. As an added bonus we will find other literary works whose protagonist isn't named.

Reflection of the Time Period in which the novel takes place
We will discuss the Harlem Renaissance, and the ways that it shapes the attitude of the novel as well as creates a unique atmosphere. In addition to this, we will reflect on topics such as post-war life, which affected the lifestyle and philosophy of many. For each topic we discuss, we will show how the setting contributes to factors such as the structure, tone, and environment that shape the novel.

Religious Undertones
We'll look at the various encounters with religion and relgious characters, such as the Founder, and the IM's relation to and perceptions of said incidents and people.

Existentialism in Invisible Man: The influence of absurdist thought (Camus, Sartre...)

How Racism Prevents the Invisible Man from Attaining Goals and his Identity