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Invisible Power: Electricity and Social Visibility in Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Languages.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This essay will investigate the role of electricity in Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, in connection to the concept of Otherness, as a result of race differences. It will argue that electricity in the novel is used as a metaphor in discourses of power by the oppressive white society, as well as a means of resistance for the protagonist/narrator, who is socially invisible because of his race. This will be done by performing a close reading of the novel focusing on the way Ellison uses the metaphor of electricity to deconstruct the hierarchy between black and white on several levels. Three main episodes will be analysed, in order to prove these claims: the Battle Royal, the Liberty Paints Factory Hospital and the Brotherhood Speech. The essay will also draw a parallel between Invisible Man and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, in order to further clarify the issue of Otherness in connection to electricity, and the aesthetic value of electricity in literature.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 30 p.
Keyword [en]
ellison, electricity, otherness, postcolonialism
National Category
Specific Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-32220OAI: diva2:695324
Subject / course
Educational program
Language, Culture and Communication Programme, 180 credits
Available from: 2014-02-11 Created: 2014-02-10 Last updated: 2014-02-11Bibliographically approved

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Hera Culda, Lucia
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