The Deceived Invisible Man

Satisfactory Essays
In the Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison, our main character struggles to find his place in society. Throughout the novel, he finds himself in "power-struggles". At the beginning of the novel, we see the narrator as a student in an African-American college. He plays a large role in the school as an upstanding student. Later, we see the Invisible Man once again as an important member of an organization known as the Brotherhood. In both situations he is working, indirectly, to have a place in a changing world of homogony. In each circumstance he finds himself deceived in a "white man's world".

The Invisible man originally wanted to graduate from his college to be a professor, perhaps even the president of the college. His dream and life as he knew it was crushed when he was expelled from school for taking a white alumni to a black neighborhood where he should not have gone. The president of the college reprimands him for not having enough common sense to show the white man what he "wanted" to see. Dr. Bledsoe, the president, believes that it is necessary to lie to the white man. He calls The Invisible man a "nigger". By this act, Bledsoe is stating that he feels superior.

Dr. Bledsoe promises the Invisible Man letters of recommendation to white businessmen in New York. He finds that in truth the letters are mocking him and stating that he will never be invited back to the college again. Bledsoe masks his "respect" for the white man, signing the letter, "Respectfully, I am your humble servant". This power struggle between the white man, the powerful black man, and the black citizen is a twisted circle of trying to please the "other".

The Invisible man meets a character named Brother Jack. He is a member of the Brotherhood, an organization desiring peace between races. It can be said that the Brotherhood represents American communism. Brother Jack is the head of power. Once the invisible man finds his place as a political figure in the Brotherhood he is successful. He is a strong speaker and the public loves him. He receives a note warning him that he was moving too fast and that it is a "white man's world". In the end, he discovers that it was Brother Jack, the very man fighting for equality, who was responsible for the letter.
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