Senior Thesis

Kameron Carter
      Modern literature often shows that individuals of the lower classes struggle to elevate themselves through their own choices, although sometimes fate intervenes. This is made evident through the twentieth century novel Invisible Man, where an unnamed protagonist struggles through racial boundaries to achieve an upper class level of success. Little Bee, a novel of more current proportions, also portrays the efforts of an African native at social acceptance in a class dominated by white, middle class English. Finally, Howards End demonstrates the clash of caste systems and how one man goes against the odds to feel loved and acknowledged amongst individuals who care so much about where one comes from. Through choice, these socially unfit people strive towards lofty pedestals of class. However, in some instances, fate takes control and dominates the outcomes, letting these protagonists know what is actually in control.
      Born into a time where his ancestry were slaves (Ellison 15), the unnamed narrator of Invisible Man, fatefully existed in the lower class. In fact, at this time, though he lived in an “equal” and “free” society, one could almost consider his class to exist below the lower class. Constantly, he was referred to as a “ginger-colored nigger”, “sonofabitch”(Ellison 21), and other various profanities. The diction used by Ellison in this modern writing proves the social standing the narrator and his fellow people had with white society. Moreover, the class of white and black is compared between the narrator and a white man, Mr. Norton. Metaphorically, Ellison compares Mr. Norton to the supreme deity of God himself. He was “‘not a man…but a God, a force—’”(Ellison 93). All power belonged to the whites, giving them authority over the Negro race and furthermore, the world. However, blacks such as the narrator were considered children, or even worse, things. Ellison’s powerful comparison of the black man to “‘a black amorphous...