Thursday, May 4, 2017
Beloved and Invisible Man
In Beloved, Toni Morrison sends a message to the African-American community to not allow the events of the past to restrict their future. Beloved's character represents a collective past of the "60 million plus more" that have suffered through the inhumane treatment in slavery. In my independent study book, Invisible Man, it seems that the narrator's struggle to achieve a bright future is not under his own control. It is not as simple as avoiding the past. Everywhere the narrator turns it seems that whites are still looking to take advantage of him. He is taken advantage of by being having to partake in a Battle Royal where he fights other black men for a chance to win money and give his speech to earn a scholarship. He ends up being able to give his speech, but the white men do not listen unless it is to correct him on belief in equality. Throughout the novel, the author Ralph Ellison makes it clear that whites view the blacks as more of a tool than human beings. Morrison also portrays this viewpoint when schoolteacher and the other white men witness the infanticide, instead of thinking of the horror of killing a child, they think of their "damaged property." Sethe never truly plans for a future, until she sheds the events of her past. In Invisible Man, the narrator is fighting more than just his past, but the power of the whites. Ellison focuses more on a general, national level of success, while Morrison portrays success on more of a personal level.