Ras the who?

04 Dec

invisible-man-by-ralph-ellisonOnly a few pages into Ellison’s work, I read the name “Ras the Destroyer”.

Ras the Destroyer?  Is that someone from mythology?  someone from Shakespeare?  Beowulf?
Thinking I should fill this gap in my knowledge base, I googled him.

Cliff’s Notes says: The character of Ras is reminiscent of Bigger Thomas, the protagonist of Richard Wright’s Native Son, often referred to as the ultimate protest novel. 

Ahhh.  Now it makes sense.  Ellison was trained as a musician, but “a visit to New York and a meeting with Richard Wright led to his (Ellison’s) first attempts at fiction.”    Remember that it was Wright and his writing that prompted Ellison to pick up the pen.

We will formally meet the character named Ras later in the tale.
Ras, who?  Ras the Destroyer.  Ras the Exhorter.
Either way, when we finally are introduced I’ll be thinking of Bigger.



Posted by on December 4, 2013 in Invisible Man


Tags: , , , ,

3 responses to “Ras the who?

  1. Christina Joy

    December 4, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    I’m so glad you researched this. I had it marked as a “Stupid Question” but had yet to find the answer. Interesting.

  2. Tonia (@SunnyPatchBlog)

    December 5, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Wow, great connection! I have to say I love how each book has connections to other books on the WEM list.


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