A must read
With my being so finicky about the books i choose to read, i have relatively high expectations for what lies within each one. i've seen this book for awhile now, and on many recommended reads within black literature. with such a vague cover and an even more ambiguous title, i found myself constantly overlooking it without realizing that i had seen this book right in front of me time and time again, as i searched for my next enlightening piece of history. i realize now with the book being so inconspicuous, that the title itself is actually quite fitting. prior to reading invisible man, i hadn't heard much about it. no recommendations or opinions from others. so there was no way for me to foresee the impact the story would have on me. no way to envisage how eventful and substantial this book would be. no way to anticipate the perspective given to me, from the author, of this black man in america. no way for me to expect the change made to my perspective as a black american. after experiencing this painful truth, there was no way i could have conceived that the very people in my life may be "invisible," and that i myself am invisible as well. the protagonist did not expect to experience the harsh realities of his existence. more specifically, to experience a journey that he had not planned for, but had plans for him; to meet with a number of individuals that would alter his perspective on being black in a white country; not expecting to ultimately realize that he never accurately knew himself in the first place. the invisible man struggles to live in a world where people choose to see him as they want to see him, and not for who he truly is. i felt deeply connected with both the mental plight of the protagonist, and his lonesome walk of life. author ralph ellison paints the most vivid picture of an incredible story. with it's outstanding descriptiveness, and incredible symbolism, this book is nothing short of a masterpiece. while it may be tough to grasp all of it's messages and comprehend each metaphor in one read, it's a page turning experience that unforgivably takes a hold of your emotions without ever letting go. this book is an essential read for a number of reasons, however, two of them strike me as the most palpable. the first being its accurate portrayal of racism in america. ellison takes us inside the mind of the protagonist as he experiences and discovers hateful discrimination in many forms. as well as many perspectives on racism though multiple characters in the book. and second, though it goes without saying how well written and beautiful the novel is, i was astounded by the overall genius of ellison's vision. with how meticulous and well crafted this work of art is, it came as no surprise when i learned that it took ellison roughly seven years to complete this book. the ideas presented in this book, though written nearly 70 years ago, still resonate deeply in today's society. i consider myself fortunate to have graced its pages. easily a 5 star book, and one of the best books i've ever read.