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Mr. Robert Worstell 's ' Invisible Man '

Good Essays
Jordan Welty
Mr. Robert Worstell
AP Literature and Composition
Wednesday, August 26, 2015

In all stories, novels, and plays, cultural, physical, and geographical surroundings not only affect the plots of literature, but also shape psychological and moral traits in all characters. Pauline Hopkins said in Contending Forces, “And, after all, our surroundings influence our lives as much as fate, destiny, or any supernatural agency.” This can be seen in Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man. In the prologue of the novel, the narrator immediately tells the reader that he is an invisible man, but he is not talking about physically. He states, “I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me. That invisibility to which I refer occurs
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I never told you, but our life is a war and I have been a traitor all my born days, a spy in the enemy’s country since I give up my gun back in the Reconstruction. Live with your head in the lion’s mouth. I want you to overcome ’em with yeses, undermine ’em with grins, agree ’em to death and destruction, let ’em swoller you till they vomit or bust wide open. Learn it to the younguns,” (Ellison, page 16). These words had an impact on the narrator all throughout his life and led to him accepting his invisibility at the end of the novel. When the narrator was a junior in college, he had his first experience with betrayal. He was asked to drive a wealthy white trustee of the college named Mr. Norton around the campus. Mr. Norton asked the narrator to drive him to the old slave quarters, where he meets a sharecropper named Jim Trueblood. After listening to Trueblood talk about getting his own daughter pregnant, Mr. Norton began to feel faint and asked the narrator to get him some whiskey. The narrator took him to the Golden Day, a saloon for black people and mentally imbalanced veterans. Once Mr. Norton regained consciousness, the narrator got him back to the college and had to face Dr. Bledsoe, the president of the college. Dr. Bledsoe was very angry with the narrator for not showing Mr. Norton an idealized version of black life. Dr. Bledsoe lectured, “Ordered you? He ordered you. Dammit, white folk are always giving orders, it’s a habit
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