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Maturità 2014/ Svolgimento Inglese, seconda prova linguistico: di Maria Bond (Esami di Stato, oggi 19 giugno 2014)


Per la comprensione e produzione in inglese del testo letterario, seconda prova dell’esame di maturità nel liceo linguistico, agli studenti è stato proposto un brano di Ralph Ellison tratto da “Invisible Man”, l'unico romanzo che l’autore riuscì a pubblicare nel corso della sua vita ma che gli valse il National Book Award nel 1953. Riportiamo le soluzioni dei vari quesiti elaborate dal sito specializzato ScuolaZoo.


1)  The protagonist’s main problem is that he feels invisible to other people’s eyes. He’s a normal man with a normal life, but to him it looks like he’s unnoticed by the rest of the World wherever he goes, whatever he does.

2) He doesn’t complain about being invisible, he thinks sometimes it can also be an advantage to be unseen by the others. At the same time, he asks himself if he really exists in this World. He questions his own existence, trying to convince himself that he is real and not just a phantom, making everything possible to be noticed, with poor results.

3) One night, as he was walking on a dark and empty street, he bumped into a man, who called him an insulting name.

4) The man was a tall blond one, with blue eyes and he was wearing a coat.

5) The protagonist asks the tall blond man to apologize for insulting him, but the other man didn’t reply.

6) The man didn’t saw the protagonist. As it is said in the text, while the protagonist was thinking of slitting the man’s throat with his knife, “it occurred to me that the man had not seen me, actually; that he, as far as he knew, was in the midst of a walking nightmare!”

7) The protagonist’s aggression could be explained by the fact that the only time someone’s get in contact with him, it’s just to curse and insult him. The protagonist reached such a level on dissociation from reality, given by the invisibility to other’s eyes, that he first feels angry and in the middle of a “frenzy”, just as if it was not him to act but the phantom. But as the rage and violence stop, he feels “unnerved”, “both disgusted and ashamed” for a second, before feeling mused, as he was freed by the fear of being a phantom, of not being real.

8) The protagonist tells us that he was acting that way in the middle of a frenzy,“because he still uttered insults though his lips were frothy with blood”. He felt like he was not really him butting the man’s chin or kicking his body, since after he realizes that the man didn’t saw him, he felt “like a drunken man myself, wavering about on weakened legs”.


A real man feels like he is invisible to other people’s eyes, even if he can’t understand we since he is a man just like others. He feels like a phantom, not a scary one but simply someone people refuse to see.

He accepts this fact, he thinks sometimes it can also be an advantage, but at the same time this situation makes him doubt about his own existence in the real world, dissociating him to normal life experience.

One night he bumps into a tall blond man, who insults him, and he reacts butting and kicking him in a violent frenzy, almost killing him with his knife, before realizing that this man too didn’t saw him, and feeling amused by the fact that a phantom mugged someone.


Being invisible is surely something that everybody experience in his life. Someone can feel invisible for a minute, someone else for his entire life.

You can be invisible in two different ways, in my opinion: you can FEEL invisible to other’s eyes because they don’t understand you, or you can BE invisible because people decide not to notice you. Both cases have the same result, dissociating someone from the real world, but causes are deeply different. In the first case it’s a condition you create or feel, consequence of particular situations or problems. The second case it’s a decision taken by others that you are subjected to, something you have to suffer.

This second case is the most problematic one, I guess. It’s quite common in schools, for example, that someone is isolated from the rest of the group or class just because he’s different. This person can be invisible to everybody, or even worse he can be the target of the others’ rage, a sadly phenomenon commonly known in Italy as “bullismo”.

The situation of being invisible can also be extended to entire social categories, to thousands of people. It happened in the US to Afro-Americans before Martin Luther King Jr, and that’s also the case of the protagonist in Ellison’s novel. It happens to those who run down a street and walk along a homeless, barely looking at him. It happens when you skip a TV channel referring to famine and war in Africa, just to cite one case.

Being invisible and to decide to make people feel invisible are two faces of the same medal. On one hand you have the passive element, who suffers the situation of being invisible, whether he creates this condition with his own actions or not. On the other hand you have an active role, most of the time taken on by a group, who deliberately decide who has the right to be noticed and who has not (clicca qui per vedere la soluzione sul sito di ScuolaZoo)

© Riproduzione Riservata.