Perception, visibility and invisibility in Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man


  • Beugre Zouankouan Stéphane English Department, University of Pelefero Gon Coulibaly, Korhogo, Côte d'Ivoire


black people, invisibility, perception, visibility, white people


This study analyses three essential motifs which are perception, visibility and invisibility and how their relationships determine and legislate the interracial relationships between whites and blacks in Ralph Ellison’s novel, INVISIBLE MAN. Through insightful analysis, this paper aims to show how from a visible status in existence, the perception that white people have about black people transforms this visibility into an invisible status both in human existence and society and namely in the white American society. And also it aims to clear out how this metamorphosis of black people from visibility to invisibility at first based on white people's perception, is principally based and due to their color of skin, and to another “Blackness” of Black people or African-Americans color of skin. Creating a real problem of existence and identity for black people through the question: “do I exist?”, the refusal of such perception and invisibility constructed by racism, stereotypes, prejudices and the concept of white people superiority will oblige black people to struggle for their visibility, their true existence, their identity and recognition by white people as an equal human being.


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How to Cite

Stéphane, B. Z. (2020). Perception, visibility and invisibility in Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man. International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Culture, 6(3), 18-35.



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