Invisible Man
"Invisible Man" is about a black man and his struggles until he eventually
becomes ‘invisible’ to society 1. Youth-given a chance for an education 2.

New York- finding a job and joining the Brotherhood 3. Becoming invisible B.

Characters 1. Ellison a. never describes himself b. well educated, tries to
become white 2. Mr. Norten- rich man, says Ellison is his ‘destiny’ 3. Dr.

Bedlose- head of the University, kicks Ellsion out 4. The Brothers- Brother

Clifton C. Major issues in the book are the ways that Ellsion’s character
oppresses himself rather than other people doing to for him II. Novel is a
primary example of the hesitance of the blacks to feel confident in American
society A. Author wrote book to confuse me- had to read pages many times-
didn’t describe people or places, just things- didn’t read in to he nuances

B. Book will help me when we start to study the Black movement because it shows
where the begingings started C. Ellison’s Character "speaks" while being
invisible, pg 576-581 III. Had and impact on the way I look at my place in
society A. Think of it not like a "black novel" but as one big analogy B.

Every one is an ‘invisible man’ in one way In Invisible Man, Ralph

Ellison’s narrator recalls to us how he became ‘invisible’ to the world.

Since the name of the narrator is never known I wlll refer to him as Brother X.

The novel opens with Brother X describing what it is like to be invisible: "I
am an invisible man. No, I am not a spook like those who haunted Edger Allen

Poe...I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids00and I might
even go said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because
people refuse to see me..That invisibility of which I refer to occurs because of
a peculiar disposition of the eyes of those with whom I come in contact. ...
those eyes with which they look through their physical eyes upon reality... In
the introduction, Brother X shares with us the advantages of his being
invisible; he also explains to us that he lives in a ‘pit’ that is damp and
dark, yet full of light. Living in this pit makes him realize that he is black
and blue. "I was born black, but what did I do to become blue? Bear with
me." During the first couple chapters of the book, Brother X tells us about
his education. He attended a prestigious collage in the South and was a top
student. While at the University, he met a prominent white man named Mr. Nortan.

He was Mr. Nortan’s driver during his stay. Although we only hear about Mr.

Nortan for a few chapters, and he doesn’t show up again until the end of the
book, he plays a very important role. He said that he didn’t have a destiny,
that Brother X and others like him were is destiny. Brother X often refers to
being Mr. Nortan’s destiny for the rest of the book. After a violation of the
rules, Brother X is kicked out of school. Thinking he will be able to return
next term, he heads off to New York to find a job. He has with him references
from Dr. Bedlose, the dean who kicked him out. He was told not to open the
letters, but after not hearing back from any of the jobs, he opens one. The
letter explained to the potential employers that Brother X had been expelled
from the University and it would not be wise to employ him. After several blue
collar jobs, Brother X ends up giving and impromptu speech at an eviction and
catching the attention of several leaders in the Brotherhood movement. He is
employed by the Brotherhood and given a new ID, which we never learn. The

Brotherhood was an organization in Harlem that focused on unity through peace.

Brother X finds himself giving speeches all over Harlem and invading the
territory of Ras, the Exhorter’s group of black Nationalists. After a while
with the Brotherhood, the Youth leader, Brother Clifton disappears. The

Brotherhood movement starts to lose its force and they start to talk of shutting
down. One day, while Brother X is walking down the street, he spots Clifton
illegally selling dolls which were demeaning to blacks. Clifton refuses arrest
and ends up being shot. At Cliftons funeral, Brother X is asked to speak. When

Brother X crosses the line by