Ralph Ellison's The Invisible Man discusses the issue of racism as anathema to an individual's true identity; the main character of the novel has difficulty learning who he is because of the homogenizing and stereotyping nature of racist American society.
In Ralph Ellison's The Invisible Man, the institution of racism is revealed to not be just an inadequate ideology in and of itself, but strongly connected to the individual ideologies of individuals - in essence, racism as a concept (and an ideology) is far too simplistic to completely encompass the entirety of someone's personality.
Ralph Ellison's The Invisible Man features characters attempting to escape the horrors and limitations of stereotyping by creating resisting identities that fight those stereotypes; however, the novel itself demonstrates that these same stereotypes are just as harmful to the African-American identity by making them seem more servile to whites.
The invisibility of the main character in The Invisible Man is symbolic; because of American society's racism and stereotyping, people are unable to see him for who he really is, leaving him unseen in a world populated by the blind.
America in The Invisible Man is exemplified most clearly in the Liberty Paints Plant, whose handling of white and black paint creates simple and clear metaphors about America's treatment of race.
In Ralph Ellison's The Invisible Man, American society is blind to the realities of race, choosing instead to concoct narratives about blacks and whites that make them feel better - resulting in a lack of communication and truth found in the world of the characters.