Invisible Man is a modernist, politically charged novel in which Ralph Ellison writes against Richard Wright's Native Son and riffs on H.G. Wells' science fiction novel The Invisible Man. In Wells' book, the protagonist is actually invisible; his body disappears and nobody can see him. In Ellison's book, the nameless protagonist and narrator is metaphorically invisible—an African American man who struggles to construct an identity for himself in a world stigmatized by the blinders of racism. Whereas Native Son is a linear narrative written in the vein of urban realism, Invisible Man is experimental and takes liberties with reality; using literary techniques like stream-of-consciousness, Ellison shows us the psychological impact of racism on his protagonist, who, unlike Bigger Thomas, possesses intellectual depth.


Read the introduction, prologue, main text and epilogue of Invisible Man and respond to the writing prompts below. Format all responses on the same document and submit via Pilot. Word counts will vary, but be sure to write in detail. DUE DATE: Friday, Nov. 3, 9 a.m.

[1] The prologue and epilogue serve as a frame for the novel. Explain what they are about and what you think they accomplish in terms of the perspective of the narrator.

[2] Identify the following names within the context of the novel:

Monopolated Light & Power Company
Golden Day
Liberty Paints
The Brotherhood

[3] A major theme in Invisible Man is BLINDNESS. Explain the role that this theme plays in the novel.


Compare and contrast the protagonists of Native Son and Invisible Man, bearing in mind that they are both tools used by Wright and Ellison to convey a message about American society and humanity at large. Be sure to cite specific details from each text. 500-750 words. DUE DATE: Friday, Nov. 10, 9 a.m.


In your own words, summarize the following three articles on Invisible Man. You can access each article on Pilot or by clicking on the titles.

Jean-Christophe Cloutier • The Comic Book World of Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man
Lisa Yaszek • An Afrofuturist Reading of Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man
Lena M. Hill • The Visual Art of Invisible Man: Ellison's Portrait of Blackness

Each summary should be 250 words long and formatted as a single paragraph. As always, be sure that your writing is revised and polished. Submit all three summaries on the same document via Pilot. DUE DATE: Friday, Nov. 17, 9 a.m.