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Why I Hate the Invisible Man (Not "Invisible Man")

Why I Hate the Invisible Man (Not "Invisible Man")

It's obvious that we Sparklers love books of all kinds. We take honors English courses just so we can use the excuse "Uhh...I'm only reading this for class. Psh!" before digging in to all those stuffy classic novels with glee. That in mind, imagine my horror when I was faced with a book that I absolutely hated: Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison.Now, please, stop sharpening your axes and pitchforks and hear me out.

This book was just plain weird to me, from the boxing match with the dancing girl, to paint solution job, to the riot at the end. Luckily, I had SparkNotes and a really good AP English Lit teacher to help me understand all the symbols and motifs. So it wasn't until my teacher proposed a very important question to the class that I understood that I was displacing my anger.

"Do you hate the book--the plot--or do you simply hate the way the story is told? The narrator?"

The narrator of Invisible Man frustrated me until the novel's end with his reactions. He just seemed so naive about the unfair actions of Bledsoe and almost every other character he encounters. There are scores of people who could hear me whisper-yelling, "Nooo! Grrr!" at every decision the narrator made. My throat was sore by September.

For me, I hate Invisible Man is the same way you would hate Forrest Gump if someone told you the story as "This guy is in the army, and ping-pong, and he runs. The end." It has the possibility of being a great story, a wonderful story even, but, because of the way it's told, the story is uninteresting, frustrating, and really...boring.

So, perhaps, I should re-phrase my original thesis. I don't hate Invisible Man, I just hate the invisible man.

Have you ever hated a narrator?

Post by MontyMayhem!

Topics: Books, Life
Tags: sparkler posts, books, stories, book reviews, books we hate, invisible man, books week, narrators

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