Afro R1B Invisible Man essay - Lin 1 Invisible Man When two...

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Lin 1 Invisible Man When two colors mix, new colors form; and the better the colors are mixed the harder to distinguish the starting colors. In Ralph Ellison’s novel, Invisible Man, the anonymous narrator explores his identity through different experiences and communities. Through a series of unfortunate events, the narrator finds himself working at Liberty Paints. Ellison uses this paint factory and their optic white paint product as a symbol to represent what the narrator is constantly fighting against. Through the factory slogan and name, employees, and prized optic white paint, Ellison exposes the inequality between whites and blacks while illustrating the failure to destroy one’s identity completely. When the narrator is sent to Liberty Paints for his first day, he is greeted with a large sign with the Liberty Paints slogan. The “drifting strands of fog” (Ellison 196) part and the narrator is able to read the clear slogan painted across an electric sign, “Keep America Pure with Liberty Paints” (Ellison 196). The slogan serves as a metaphor for American society and its regard to race. After seeing the sign, the narrator describes that “for a moment it was like watching some vast patriotic ceremony from a distance” (Ellison 196). The “patriotic” feel of the slogan
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Lin 2 further illustrates Liberty Paint’s platform and its attempt at portraying a pure image. The same message is emphasized in the factory name, Liberty Paints. The inclusion of “Liberty” in the factory’s name emphasizes that the factory leaders and employees uphold the same ideals as those of America’s leaders. A country supposedly founded on equality and “liberty” but in actuality offering more freedom for some than others. This is illustrated through the employee hierarchy in Liberty Paints. As the narrator is brought inside on his first day, he is amazed at the “tremendous” (Ellison 197) factory. After he comments on the size of the factory, the office boy who leads him through the “pure white” halls explains that the business
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This note was uploaded on 04/28/2008 for the course AFRICAM R1B taught by Professor Nanda during the Spring '08 term at University of California, Berkeley.

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Afro R1B Invisible Man essay - Lin 1 Invisible Man When two...

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