Invisible

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"I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me." (Ellison 3).

When I read this I immediately identified with it. First I have to say that feeling invisible or important is not just a race thing. I think it's something that a lot of people, including myself, deal with. As soon as I started reading the book I identified with the narrater. I am going to be a little personal here, just explain why this quote struck me so much. Like the narrarter I have always felt invisible to people, I mean people just don't really notice or care that I"m around. I even had a couple invisible incidents this week, which didn't really assist in my crappy week. So here goes:

So, on wednesday I really just didn't want to hang out in my room because it gets a little lonely, actually I don't like being in there at all, I do most of my work elsewhere. But anyways, I thought I would head down to the lounge and hangout. There wasn't anyone in there so I sat down in front of the tv and began working on a paper. As I was sitting there a group of girls walked in and sat on the couches. It seemed kind of weird but hey, I have walked in and sat down when other people were watching tv just. So I continued to attempt to watch tv and do my paper but it became difficult when these said girls begane to talk over the tv. As I was trying to watch the tv more people came in and sat down, which seemed kind of weird and I was starting to feel uncomfortable. Then one person speaks up and says, "hey why isn't the pens game on?" (now remember I was there first, there wasn't anyone else even in the lounge when I got there). Now I"m think oh my gosh what is going on here. Next a girl (one of the original group that walked in) got up and started changing the channels. I finally stood up and said loudly, "hey, I'm watching that! What you are doing is rude!" I packed my stuff up in my book bag and walked out super angry. I cannnot believe how rudely these people are, you don't just walk in and start changing channels and stuff when someone else is watching the tv first. It would have been one thing if they would asked me if they could watch something else or if I was even watching the tv. I felt like they didn't even see there, or they just figured since I was one person they could just come in as a group and gang up on me.

Then yesterday I went to a meeting and saw some so called friends (I'm quickly learning that they really aren't true and great friends, maybe to each other but def. not to me). I was sitting there when one of these said people asked me something. Actually it was about this book, Invisible Man (I was at the meeting early and I was reading while I was waiting) as I started to respond this said person just completely ignored me and started talking to someone else (why even ask about the book or even talk to me if you aren't even that interested anyway?). What makes it even more interesting is that I was going to explain the invisible thing which I thought was interesting because I identified with it and I was ignored, treated like I was invisible.

Ok, so this became a blog about Invisible Man and a rant, but I thought it all connected together. Has anyone else ever felt this way or identified with the narrater in some way?

Oh, p.s. This is going to be a weird question but did anyone think Mr. Norton could have possibly had some kind of incident with his daughter like Mr. Trueblood did. I was kind of getting that reaction from his reactions to Trueblood.

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2 Comments

April Minerd said:

In risk of sounding redundant, (because I have voiced my opinion on this more than once, already) any work that allows for some level of personal attachment or connection will usually result in a worthwhile experience, and makes the piece that much more memorable. To what you were saying about feeling invisible, I think that is something most of us are able to relate to in some way or another (maybe not to the entire world, maybe its just one person we feel invisible to). I have never been very outspoken and can understand the situations you explained easily. Your being able to identify with Ellison’s unnamed protagonist, and my being able to relate with your view about being unnoticed, I think affirm your visibility! The problem with people—and I mean all people including myself—is that we are more often than not self-absorbed; it takes an intentional effort to be aware of and courteous to the feelings of others. About your last observation, I got a similar impression about Mr. Norton. I think Norton might have lusted after his own daughter, but I doubted he had taken it to the extent that Trueblood had. The delight in his daughter’s beauty and disbelief in her being his own, paired with the question (“You feel no inner turmoil, no need to cast out the offending eye?”) he offered Trueblood, made me suspicious (51).

Aja Hannah said:

I feel the same way about Mr. Norton. I don't think he did anything to his daughter (maybe he did by the way he acted), but I felt he just really loved his daughter and perhaps wanted to get with her too.

There is also the fact that his daughter is dead right? What did she die of? Maybe he did do something to her and feels that her death is somehow connected to his inapropriate feelings toward her.

As for the invisible thing, I think that Ellison made the character a different kind of invisible. Like that because there are so many black, poor people he can just blend it. The public doesn't take the time to distinguish one from the other so they think he has the same background, education, and wealth as any other black man (or the stereotype or the lowest blackman like Trueblood). Maybe he is upset by this, but at the same time it is what lets him get the job as the lecturer/speaker/rally-er because his identity can remain hidden. He is just one in the same.

As for people who are not courteous, stand up for yourself and what you believe in. Then you won't be so invisible. Frankly, I'm tired of people who play loud music AND leave their door open. Not everyone wants to hear that or have the time to play around. I'm sorry if I like my quiet time and I give a damn about my work and my grades.

But, you don't need to always get mad at the people. Just talk to them first about what your preferences are or how you feel slighted. Then, if they don't listen, get angry.

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