The Invisible Man's Fascination With Wealth Essay

The Invisible Man's Fascination With Wealth Essay

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True power comes from within the heart. When a person can express his or her feelings without being put down, they become more confident in themselves. Invisible Man, a novel written by Ralph Ellison shows a man who does everything he can to fit in with the people around him. Ellison's unnamed protagonist, the Invisible man (hereafter called IM) has the desire to impress the rich, white, and powerful men in his life. Consequently, I.M. loses his identity, cultural past, and becomes a mechanical puppet. He was sent to New York to get a job, earn money, and hopefully come back one day to show to the college of his dreams that he belongs their. Ellison shows IM joining a small group called the Brotherhood to get a better understanding of his place in life. IM's life changes after he meets the members of the Brotherhood, and they play with his mind throughout the novel.

I.M.'s fascination with powerful white men proved detrimental to his success. I.M. wanted to impress a man who goes by the name of Mr. Norton, the founder of the college I.M. attends. In order to do so, I.M. drove him around the campus at the demand of Mr. Norton, revealing too much about what was going on there. I.M. first took Mr. Norton to the cabins, where we met a new character, Trueblood. Trueblood's popularity came from the fact that he had had sex with his own daughter, and I.M. was furious that Mr. Norton was so interested to see and speak to him.

At times I.M. wanted to leave and tell Mr. Norton that he is nothing like Trueblood, and that he was really embarrassed for his own race, "You bastard', I said underneath my breath. `You no-good bastard! You get a hundred-dollar bill!" (69). I.M. did not want to have any affiliation with Trueblood, and despis...


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... of the habit of kissing Dr. Bledsoe's behind. I.M. now has the opportunity to begin his own life in a different atmosphere. Coming to another location to live gave I.M. a fresh start with the new people around him and a different future. It began with Mary, who once told him "Don't let this Harlem git you. I'm in New York, but New York ain't in me" (255). IM following his heart and his gut feeling to join the Brotherhood gave him an escape from his past. Unfortunately, it was very late in his sojourn when he realized that his grandfather was right all along about the white men. I.M. was played around with and was milked in all possible ways, being used as machine that operates to please the white men. I.M. finally admits to the readers and himself that has seen his flaws in almost everything, yet too late to do anything about it, "I'm invisible, not blind" (576).

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