Invisible Man, The Invisible Man

I took a risk this past week for my essay.  After reading H. G. Wells' The Invisible Man I got to thinking about the similarities between that text and Ellison's Invisible Man.  300 words is a tight squeeze to discuss the parallels, but I had fun writing this essay.  Based on the feedback, this risk didn't hurt me, but it also didn't pay off.  I still hold that there are some very interesting parallels between these two books, beyond the tendency for people to confuse their titles.  I am also not quite sure how to respond to feedback that my writing is "too sophisticated."

Invisible Man, The Invisible Man
Visibility is the result of layered social equations, and often our actions become the framework through which our whole being is encapsulated, regardless of the conditions forcing our behavior.  H. G. Wells' The Invisible Man is artificially invisible, and Ellison's Invisible Man is culturally invisible, but both are judged by perceptions of their actions.  Both invisible men are guilty of various infractions and misdemeanors, often the result as much of circumstance as to personal flaws, but similarly both men desire survival and acceptance.

These men are "visible" largely only when their actions upset balance. Ellison's Invisible Man has visibility as part of a spectacle, such as in the battle royale, or visibility as a liability, such as to the university.  Wells' The Invisible Man was largely unnoticeable before his transformation except when creating a disturbance, when the noise of the cat resulted in investigation and accusation of vivisection in his apartments.  After his transformation he exists as a disruptive force, drawing attention to himself repeatedly even when his attempts are only base survival, and drawing extreme notice and censure as his ambitions grow.  Petty theft is one thing, assault and battery, not to mention a campaign of murder, are something else all together.

Ellison's Invisible Man survives; he takes his invisibility and ultimately uses it as a shield from the societal exclusion he experiences.  His actions are his visibility, be it as a public voice for an organization, or the narrator sharing his story from a forgotten apartment.  Wells' The Invisible Man uses his invisibility as an excuse to escape moral and societal strictures.  His actions are his visibility, as are the wounds resulting from his actions.  What we do no see we ignore, it lives literally beneath our notice.  It is when the invisible breaks out of bounds into the visible that we take notice and object.
Works cited:
Ellison, Ralph. Invisible Man. Random House, Inc., 1952.
Wells, H. G.  The Invisible Man. C. A. Pearson, 1897.



PEER FEEDBACK

FORM (2)
peer 1 → I must say that your language is a bit sophisticated and may pose a problem to someone who speaks English as a second language. Also, I don't quite understand your first sentence at all.
peer 2 → It would have been nice to see a defined thesis statement in the beginning of this essay. Instead, it seems like you jumped right into the heart of it, without warning. That makes this essay a little jarring, and a bit hard to follow. Otherwise, the sentence structure and grammar are well used, I only saw one error; "Visibility of is the..."
peer 5 → Interesting and insightful points have been made.

CONTENT (2)
peer 1 → The content of your essay is also confusing. You are kind of comparing two different works and I only read one, which we were asked to read. I am sorry, but I don't find your essay insightful.
peer 2 → I'm not sure why you chose to compare Wells' Invisible Man to Ellison's, but it makes for a nice scope. The ideas are original and intriguing, I just wish that it had a better flow. Overall, great idea! I'd like to read more about this.
OTHER COMMENTS
peer 2 → Have an outsider read/edit your essay. Its nice to have a fresh pair of eyes, and from someone who isn't attached to the assignment.

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