Friday, December 14, 2012

Invisible Man Big Question:

The phrase from Ralph Ellison's novel Invisible Man, "Live your life like your head is in the lion's mouth" serves as an absolute statement that is open to interpretation. It could be seen as living a careful life, only doing what you should do and staying in the safe boundaries society sets for you. Or it could be seen as advice to live a life in anticipation, not knowing what is to come but willing to take the adventure to get there. When growing up, adolescents are faced with this daunting crossroad of how they want to live out their life and how they set out to do it much like the protagonist in Invisible Man. However, setting out to accomplish what you want in life does not mean that there will not be obstacles along the way. Some face the problem, like the narrator in Invisible Man, of trying to please others in order to bring individual contentment but fall short of societal expectations and wonder, "What did I do? I always tried to do the right thing..." (191). This is not the road to take when making the transition from child into adulthood. Instead, one must take the road that can be viewed to have selfish intent, but yields a greater outcome in the course of life. This is the road of self contentment. It should not serve as a main focus but more as cornerstone in one's life. By focusing on the quality one could bring to his own life and others instead of the quantity, maturation reaches its full course due to the incorporation of ideas taught to us when we are young taking action later on in the lives we live.
Does the protagonist in Invisible Man reach full maturation in the book? And do we all as a society reach this idea of full maturation and the happiness that accompanies it?