Dreams in Invisible Man Essay example

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There are many types of dreams and many interpretations of those dreams. Dreams of power... of glory... of the past and the present... but none are as vivid as those that are found in Ralph Ellison's novel, Invisible Man.

The dreams start occurring in the very beginning of Invisible Man. In the infamous "Reefer Dream", IM talks about a dream he had after he used narcotics. In this bizarre dream, IM hears a speech on "the blackness of black", is assaulted by the son of a former slave, and is run over by a speeding machine. All of this occurs while listening to "What Did I Do To Be So Black and Blue?"(pgs 9-12). This is one of the most significant dreams in the book.

In another important dream, IM's deceased grandfather gives
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Then he dreamed of a hill, that no matter how fast he climbed, it seemed farther away, until finally he reaches the top. On top of the hill is a white house. Trueblood went in the house, and there is a room that is totally white. Inside the room is a white girl who wants Trueblood to snuggle up with her. But he just pushes her on to the bed and, " the woman just seems to sink outta sight, that there bed was so soft.... Then swoosh! All of a sudden, a flock of little white geese fly out of the bed(Ellison 55-58)." Soon after, Trueblood wakes up and is going to tell his wife about the dream, but when he wakes up, he is on top of his daughter. This is important because this dream eventually gets IM kicked out of college. The reason for IM's expulsion is because Norton had a heart attack due to the shock of hearing this dream.

Dr. Bledsoe is a target of IM's rage. IM often dreams of publicly humiliating Bledsoe by forcing him to eat chitterlings. The reason IM feels hatred towards Bledsoe is because IM feels Bledsoe is fully responsible for IM moving to Harlem. He also feels like he has been stabbed in the back by Bledsoe, because Bledsoe wrote letters of recommendation that were really letters of degradation. These are the reasons that IM often dreams of revenge.

IM's grandfather is a constant figure in most of IM's dreams. In a dream after IM joins the Brotherhood, his grandfather tells him that, "You start up Saul, and end up Paul
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