harmony_ invisible man essay.docx - Chloe Retika Ms Hallford AP English Literature Period 4 23 September 2019 Harmony In music there exists three

harmony_ invisible man essay.docx - Chloe Retika Ms...

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Chloe Retika Ms. Hallford AP English Literature, Period 4 23 September 2019 Harmony In music, there exists three perfect triads that appeal to the human ear. Popular artists employ these simple chords in a chosen key because they best satisfy the average listener. However, the great maestros of classical music such as Beethoven and Liszt understand that their invisible symphonies will never be complete without dissonance. The imperfect chords add tension and interest to the work, a quality well-trained musicians can appreciate. Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man relishes the story of a black man seeking to recognize and come to terms with the dissonance in his life as well as with the disharmony in the world. Invisible man successfully journeys to develop from blindly submitting to social constructs, foolishly supporting the Brotherhood, to finally attaining clear vision as he celebrates and harmonizes with his niche in the world. Invisible man begins his journey confused and blind to social realities, refusing to confront who he truly is. The battle royale is a clear example of how the narrator defers to white supremacy. The white businessmen and officials blindfold the fighters to add another aspect of entertainment: the sightless men could neither create allegiances nor pinpoint enemies, launching the fight into hysterical anarchy. The devious design ensures the black fighters could not collectively protest against the injustice of the fight. However, invisible man does not resist the brawl because he does not recognize it for what it truly is. He and the other fighters voluntarily “allowed [themselves] to be blindfolded” (Ellison 21). It is only after the narrator was beaten,
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Retika 2 bloodied, and electrocuted that he is allowed to speak - a price he deems adequate because of his humility ideology. Additionally, invisible man is blind to the all-encompassing illusion his college submerges him and his peers into. The Founder’s bronze statue alludes to the mirage the college created: it is hard to discern whether the young figure’s veil is being lifted or “lowered more firmly in place” (36). The all-black college offers an education presumed to represent the triumphant outcome of the Civil War. Yet in reality, it is a means for whites to control what the students learn and how they perceive the world. The students are taught to strive towards whiteness and gradually forget their black upbringing, efficiently washing away what was considered to be their colored taint on society. However, the narrator openly claims he “believed in the principles of the Founder with all [his] heart and soul” (99). He foolishly prioritizes appealing to powerful trustees in the hopes that they will reward him. In contrast, the veteran clearly recognizes the truth of the college and also underscores how invisible man’s passiveness and roboticism conforms to who the whites want him to be. He vehemently delineates, “Already
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