Language with Socio-cultural Perspective in Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man: A Critical Discourse Analysis approach

  • Mohammed Ilyas


In spite of several challenges, Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) has continued to be used as a social research methodology since its multiple critical approaches began examining the relationship between textual discourse, society and culture. The benefits derived were that it exposed hidden agendas of media discourses (van Dijk, 1995) and offered opportunities to analyze causes of social injustices and their solutions (Wodak & Meyer, 2009). For this purpose, it adopted very pertinent discourse analytical strategies relevant to the context (Fairclough, 2003). Having seen such a strong advocating of CDA approaches and in order to seek a solution to all ambiguities, this study attempted to perform a CDA of Ralph Ellison’s The Invisible Man (1953). This study employed CDA as a research tool and performed a content analysis of the novel under study.  The findings revealed how language has been used as a kind of social practice, in a specific historical and sociocultural context widely recommended to determine the discourse analysis of a text.  This study is an analytical research of the socio-political context in which the text is created and expresses concern about the power abuse or injustice done to the black community in that context. While the study focused on the language of the text, it collected evidences from its story elements like plot, themes and characterization.