Submission Or The Drop Of A Fi

1333 words - 5 pages

"I shivered, looking toward the street, where up the alley through the tunneling dark, three mounted policemen loomed beneath the circular, snow-sparkling beam of the street lamp, grasping their horses by their bridles, the heads of both men and animals bent close, as though plotting; the leather of saddles and leggings shining. Three white men and three black horses. Then a car passed and they showed in full relief, their shadows flying like dreams across the sparkle of snow and darkness. And, as I turned to leave, one of the horses violently tossed its head and I saw the gauntleted fist yanked down. Then there was a wild neigh and the horse plunged off in the dark, the crisp, frantic clanking of metal and the stomping of hooves followed me to the door. Perhaps this was something for Brother Jack to know." ~Invisible Man, pg. 337 Within the posed partnership between the whites and the blacks in the Brotherhood is an underlying sense of authority and domination. Although a picture of alliance is what the whites wish to paint, even shallow reading brings out the irrefutable control which they possess over their black brothers. Unknowably, the narrator is under this control throughout the entire story, despite the recurrent instances that stare into his blinded view. The above passage is not a particular episode in the novel, yet rather a metaphorical representation of a main theme: control versus rebellion. It also acts as a foreshadowing for the latter section of the novel, as well as a summation for the entire account in general.At this particular point in the novel, the narrator is just getting into the Brotherhood and is about to take part in his first rally with his brothers. He is not yet in tune with the control they hold over him and will soon start to exercise; he is still naïve in thinking that the Brotherhood is indeed a "brotherhood." Early on before even joining the organization, he was given an idea as to what the Brotherhood stood for, as is evident by Brother Jack's comment to him during their first meeting, "And sometimes the difference between individual and organized indignation is the difference between criminal and political action" (pg 293). Brother Jack insinuates from the start that there is no intention that the narrator should have any individual say or control over what is to be done within the Brotherhood. Later in the story, he even comes right out and says, "You were not hired to think" (pg 469). This statement not only confirms the undesirable trait of individualism, but it also stresses the idea that the narrator was hired to do a job, not brought into a group to organize on equal ground. The image of the white men riding black horses obviously parallels the whites and the blacks of the Brotherhood. Simply the image of being ridden is a strong enough picture for the reader to see this representation, as well as for the narrator to recognize it. However, the narrator, unlike the reader, fails to understand the...

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