Man in The Mirror

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Man inside the Mirror

In a remarkably racial and divided culture, the appeal of being part of a group in which the goal should be to look over and above race and come together as one working school seems like the second chance to achieve the American Desire the narrator hopes for. Once joining the Brotherhood, the narrator confronts the reality of him even now having to face the same difficulties and biases as he performed in light society. This kind of representation will come in the form of perfect and emblematic follower of the Brotherhood: Tod Clifton. According to Kerry McSweeney, Clifton signifies the potential of dark-colored America. As being a handsome and “well-built” guy, he is the cartel of the beliefs of the Brotherhood, and just like leader Buddy Jack, is usually blind for the realities of black America. Unfortunately, Clifton’s epiphany from the struggles and plight of African-Americans costs him his life. However even in death, Clifton remains symbolic to the narrator of the plight of black America and oppression.

From the beginning, Tod Clifton is marked and place apart from the additional members of the Brotherhood along with his scar and “Afro-Anglo-Saxon” history (Ellison 1980, 363). Upon first meeting Clifton, the protagonist assumes he is a rival since Clifton is usually to assist the narrator with making his speeches emphasis more about scientific Communist ideals and less about contest under Sibling Jack’s instructions. This introduction serves to show Clifton being a blind and loyal follower in the Brotherhood and a foil for the narrator. With both being African-American men, there is a expect them to come together. However , the Brotherhood will not take this upon themselves to discuss or perhaps acknowledge race. Yet Clifton often must prove he could be of African-American descent. As the opposite of Dark-colored Nationalist Nivel the Extorter, Ras denounces Clifton to be part of the Brotherhood as a sign of betraying his history:

“You my buddy, mahn¦. how a hell you call these kinds of white males brother? ¦ Brother’s similar color. We all sons of Mama The african continent, you done forget? ¦ [The white men] offer you out¦. Why you decide to go over to the enslaver? ¦ What they do to you personally, black mahn? Give you them stinking females? ” (Ellison 1980, 370-372)

Given this brief review, the narrator comes face-to-face with dark-colored racism toward those who has been seen as sellouts to those with Ras’s ideology. The notion of the “black brute” is a idea the narrator is confronted by again after meeting Sybil, a partner of one of the Brother’s, who also engages him to play a black savage in her rape dream. Given how these two situations mirror white-colored stereotyping of black guys as sex fiends, Tod Clifton serves as the 1st and preliminary sufferer of the prejudices continue to plaguing the African-American contest.

Tod Clifton as being a character represents the trip the protagonist goes through while in the Brotherhood. Noticeable to the Brotherhood as he is African-American and a dedicated follower of the cause, he is also at the mercy of the Brotherhood pertaining to protection, a hope that fails him in the end. Like the narrator, Clifton wants to boost race associations. The both of them believe that conciliatory objectives may improve “race” relations, although both males ultimately become the means of wrecking Harlem’s counterculture. This triggers the narrator to conclude, “the end was your beginning”, offering dietetically for least, simply no solution to ethnicity invisibility. (Gibson 2010, 356).

In actuality, Tod Clifton is a obvious man, although is “invisible” due to him being a “self-imprisoned captive of his personal capacities to determine and be seen in stereotyped photos. ” His selling of Sambo dolls”an offensive belief of a sluggish, passive slave”on the street seems to both perpetrate and mock the African-Americans as being modern slaves in white culture (Rovit 70, 58-59). This individual eventually leaves the Brotherhood having turn into disillusioned with all the group and hoping to find a way to support himself in white colored society. The narrator reasons, “¦there’s nothing can beat isolating a guy to make him think. inch (Ellison 80, 469) The real reason for the selling of the plaything could be seen as Clifton realizing that he was Sambo to the Brotherhood”manipulated and made being complicit to complete their putting in a bid, confirming Ras’s earlier assertion of Clifton being window blind to the Brotherhood’s true ideals. However , Clifton selling the dolls unveils complex attitude toward competition relations than simple acceptance of stereotypes: mocking individuals who fulfill the stereotypical slave-master romance while sneering at those who think that they will escape the consequences of the awkward label. Nevertheless he flies in the face of white expert by growing up against law enforcement, his departure from his “proper” place leads to his death. Eventually, Clifton’s providing of the dolls, as a last resort to fit into society or as a act of defiance, proves more dangerous compared to the other previous Brotherhood members’ retreat into silence and invisibility (McSweeney 1988, 102).

Unfortunately, both the narrator and Clifton end up reduced to an Uncle Tom. The narrator has the capacity to connect with his audience when ever one of Ras’s men knocks and bumps him straight down and cell phone calls him an Uncle Ben. When Clifton and Altura trade your punches until Nivel knocks him down and pulls a knife upon him, Ras sobs “red angry tears” as he stands over Clifton, scolding and praising Clifton, whom this individual calls “the real dark-colored mahn” (Diller 2014, 502). Clifton experienced the ability to interact with members with the Brotherhood, yet once he left and subsequently killed, he was lowered to a mark of a decreased angel just to then always be called a traitor for the Sambo dolls he distributed. Neither the narrator nor Tod Clifton could progress beyond their particular status as African-American males, it shortly became a range of leaving and being tagged a traitor or to die at the hands of white-colored society. Their very own world is pretty literally in a live or perhaps die attitude, and it is now up to the narrator about whether or not he results and combats, or fail and undergo the same destiny as Tod Clifton.

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