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Trueblood and the Statue in Ellison's Invisible Man

Trueblood, in Invisible Man, is well developed, interesting character. He is the black man who sleeps with his wife and daughter and gets them both pregnant.

To start off, the name Trueblood itself is ironic. His blood is no longer "true" because it has been contaminated by a grave sin-he slept with his own kin! Trueblood's story of dreaming when having sex with his daughter is a bit fantastic, and yet it is credible. Thus, his name could also mean he speaks the truth. Ellison might be using the name as a technique (besides empathy) to give Trueblood's story credence.

Trueblood is ignorant and this blinds society of him. The initially pompous narrator describes him as "too ignorant" on page 48. This is furthered when Trueblood can't understand Mr. Norton. Mr. Norton said on the same page "You feel no inner turmoil, no need to cast out the offending eye?" he says "I'm all right, suh. My eyes is all right too". Dr. Bledsoe didn't want Mr. Norton to see Trueblood-he is trying to keep the image of black society away from the downtrodden blacks. Thus, society is being kept hidden from Trueblood and Trueblood is being kept hidden from society. But, this aloofness is not without merits. Trueblood's remorse for his actions, and his belief that a "man don't leave his family" attest to his self-imposed morality. Morality formed without the benefit of a guiding society. This is just like the Invisible Man. He found his own morality after relinquishing societies guidelines.

Trueblood also raises the issue of blindness to reality. He doesn't have sex with his daughter while fully conscious. Instead, he sleeps with her when he was dreaming. In this dream, he metaphorically describes his sexual experience: " I runs and runs till I should be tired but ain't tired but feelin' more rested as I runs... Only I'm still in the tunnel. Then way up ahead I sees a bright light like a jack-o-lantern over a graveyard. It gits brighter and burst like a great big electric light in my eyes" (59). He doesn't realize he is having sex at all! He was completely oblivious to reality. He is in a dream state, where nothing that is happening is real. This is just like most of the Invisible Man's life.