The Significance of Mr. Norton and Fate in Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

The Significance of Mr. Norton and Fate in Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

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The Significance of Mr. Norton and Fate in Invisible Man

 
     In his novel Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison has developed the invisible man by using the actions of other characters. Through his prophecy, Mr. Norton has secured the destiny of the narrator, himself, and all persons in the novel. Mr. Norton forebodes that the narrator will determine his fate, but Mr. Norton doesn't realize that the fate determined is universal: that every being is invisible and without this knowledge, people are blinded by their own invisibility. The narrator is able to come to terms with this self-realization at the end of the end of the novel, and by doing so, he has become an individual and a free man of society, which in essence, is what Mr. Norton had first symbolized in the narrator's mind. At the end though, Mr. Norton will symbolize a blind, shameful society that the narrator becomes invisible to. The narrator was only able to become invisible by Mr. Norton's foreshadowing; for it was he who helped drive the narrator to the North and accompany his fate.

 

Mr. Norton, a rich, Southern, white trustee, claims that the narrator and the black people "were some how closely connected" with his destiny. This man contributed funds to the college as a tribute for his deceased daughter, which startled the narrator, for this white man poured his heart out to him.

 

"That was something I never did; it was dangerous. First, it was dangerous if you felt like that about anything, because then you'd never get it or something or someone would take it away from you; then it was dangerous because nobody would understand you and they'd only laugh and think you were crazy", (Ellison 43).

 

The narrator is afraid to open himself up for a...


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...www.english.upeen.edu/~afilreis /50s/bellow-on-ellison.html

Ellison Ralph. Invisible Man. New York: The Modern Library, 1994.

Fabre, Michel. "In Ralph Ellison's Precious Words." Unpublished Manuscript. 1996. 30 November. <http://www.igc.org/dissent/archive/ Ellison/early.html

Howe, Irving. "Review of: Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man" Pub. The Nation. 10 May 1952. 30 November 1999. <http://www.english.upenn.edu/~afilreis/50s/howe-on-ellison.html.

Kelly, Robin D.G. "Communist Party of the United States." Encyclopaedia of African-American  Culture and History. 1996 ed. Lawler, Mary. Marcus Garvey.

New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1988.

O'Meally, Robert. The Craft of Ralph Ellison. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1980.

O'Meally, Robert, ed. New Essays on Invisible Man. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988.

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