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…show more content…
He feels that by telling the narrator that he is the link to his fate, then the narrator will become a greater being, thus elevating Mr. Norton. "What do you think of my idea, young man?" he said. "I don't know, sir. I only think that you have what you're looking for. Because if I fail or leave school, it doesn't seem to me it would be at your fault. Because you helped make the school what it is." "And you think that enough?" "Yes, sir. That's what the president tells us. You have yours, and you got it yourself, and we have to lift oursleves up the same way", (Ellison 44-45). Mr. Norton firmly believes that he is responsible for the outcome of the narrator, while the narrator feels that he is solely responsible for himself. This difference of opinion will only end up blinding Mr. Norton, for later on, it will be discovered that his poor attempts to convince the narrator that he is a part of his fate will bitterly explode into the pathetic reality of his life. Mr. Norton exclaims to the narrator, "You are important because if you fail, I have failed by one individual, one defective cog; it didn't matter so much before, but now I'm growing old and it has become very important..." (Ellison 45). It is too early for the narrator to accept or even realize his invisibility, but it can already be determined that Mr. Norton is an insecure, inept man who is dependent on others for security. However, the

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