Based on the passage, Ellison's critics would most likely have responded favorably to Invisible Man if it had

Shiyi on May 5, 2019

Why is A correct?

Why is A correct? Why is C incorrect?

1 Reply

Victoria on May 14, 2019

Hello @Shiyi-Zhang,

The passage states that the activities of the protagonist of Ellison's Invisible Man allowed him "to explore and to blend themes specifically tied to the history and plight of African Americans with themes...about the fractured, evanescent quality of individual identity and character." The latter themes were also explored by European writers with whom Ellison was familiar.

Ellison was criticized for this blending of themes for two reasons. Firstly, critics claimed that his focus on the individual prevented him from directing his art toward the political action that "was demanded by his era's social and political state of affairs." Secondly, critics claimed that his use of European fictional models "lessened his contribution to the development of a distinctly African American novelistic style."

C is incorrect because critics of Ellison's Invisible Man believed that he should have focused on the political action required by the social and political conditions of his era in particular. Therefore, including a tribute to the political contributions of African American predecessors would have failed to please these critics.

A is the correct answer because it directly responds to the critique that Ellison was prevented from directing his art toward the political action that was demanded by his era's social conditions. If Invisible Man had created a positive effect on the social conditions of the time, this criticism would no longer be valid and these critics may have, instead, responded favourably to Ellison's book.

Hope this is helpful! Please let us know if you have any further questions.