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The main theme within the ‘invisible man’ is that of the more obvious theme of invisibility. Ellison explores through the use of music such as in the form of jazz the moments or experiences where invisibility takes control. Such breaks in visibility signify a chance for the protagonist to escape and break the mould of the what can be called ‘constitutional visibility’ allowing for the exploration of ones own identity and individuality. An individuality and identity that is not in any way restricted to what is generally accepted as visible.Such breaks that allow for such explorations to take place within the novel can be seen from the very beginning where in the prologue the protagonist recalls a certain incident:Once I saw a prize-fighter boxing a yokel. The fighter was swift and amazingly scientific. His body was one violent flow of rapid rhythmic action. He hit the yokel a hundred times while the yokel held up his arms in stunned surprise. But suddenly the yokel … struck one blow …. The smart money hit the canvas. The long shot got the nod. The yokel had simply stepped inside of the opponent’s sense of time.Through such a passage the reader is able to see that there is an alternative to the scientific approach. The yokel uses time and space in order to overpower the violence of science allowing creativity to achieve success. The restriction imposed by science is overcome through the ability to analyze and interpret a situation differently. In the instance it was the yokel’s ability to step into the time frame of the prize-fighter and thus provide for a different strategy towards victory. One that was able to unite creativity and originality. Rather like the same way the ‘invisible man’ uses the music of Louis Armstrong with the combination of the reefer to discover a rather unconventional way of listening to Armstrong’s music, thus in that way offering new ways of interpretation.


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