Saturday, January 11, 2014

To Be Invisible, Is To Be Free

A person in the constant spotlight has to do everything right. Even Miley Cyrus has everything perfectly planned in order to appeal to the public. I often question if I were to act as Brittney Spears did in 2007, if I would achieve the same amount of press and attention. The answer is: no I wouldn't. I am invisible to most of the world, therefore I thankfully wouldn't make headlines if I gained fifty pounds, or if my boyfriend cheated on me with a beach blonde bimbo.

This concept is explored in Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man. Throughout his tale, the narrator is under watch by Dr. Bledsoe, the brotherhood, and eventually the entire public of Harlem. He is unable to do what he wants without having to accept the consequences. He couldn't take Mr. Norris for a drive and then a drink without getting kicked out of his dream school. He couldn't speak his mind without getting verbally punished by the brotherhood, and towards the end of the book, he couldn't speak in front of crowd without the fear of being lynched. Though in the beginning of the book, he achieved invisibility and was able to do what he wanted to do without the consequences of the public

So now to the big question. What does it take to be free? Ellison argues that pure freedom comes with invisibility. To be invisible is to be free. One does not have to worry about what the public with think of them, if no one even knows who he/she is. Just like I don't have to worry about what middle aged woman across the nation will think if I have an extra cookie, because to them, I am invisible. Freedom to do something without the disappointed scowl of the public, comes with invisibility. But is it worth it to be invisible in order to have freedom?

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