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The Evolution Of The Invisible Man In Invisible Man By Ralph Ellison

1327 words - 5 pages

The Evolution of the Invisible Man in Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

In everyone's life, there are growing experiences. People evolve not only physically as they get older but also ideologically. Perhaps they might become wiser or shrug off the trendy doctrines that may have tried to shape their destiny long ago.
Ralph Ellison illustrates this struggle of change in Invisible Man. The novel begins with a naïve young, black man in the South caught under the evil boot of racism. As the novel progresses, the reader sees that the ideas portrayed in the novel evolve from inherently pro-communism to anti-communism by the ending.
Although appears solely as a diatribe against racism, it embodies an evolution of political thought and also a lifting of a figurative veil that has been placed over the narrator's eyes to blind him to the reality of the world. Even though his political thought culminates in an epiphany moment at the end of the novel, the veil is still evident in his life.
In the beginning of the novel, Ivan is assigned to chauffeur Mr. Norton, a white man who is an important trustee to the college. Per Norton's orders, Ivan drives Norton through the old slave-quarter areas around the college. Here, the story of Trueblood unfolds. Norton requests that Ivan stop so that he can speak with Trueblood.
Trueblood tells Norton the story of how he impregnated his daughter and committed the unthinkable, horrid crime of incest. Norton is perversely fascinated by this account and is enthralled by Trueblood and how the man has managed to commit such a gross act and still be alive.
After Trueblood finishes the story, it is almost as if Norton seems grateful for having heard the sickening story. To express this, he gives Trueblood a one hundred-dollar bill.

Trueblood's mouth fell agape, his eyes widened and filled with moisture as he took the bill between trembling fingers. It was a hundred-dollar bill.(Ellison 68).

This symbolizes how Norton is exploiting Trueblood. It is a protest against the
exploitation of the worker which is a very communist idea. In order to almost live the experience of perhaps committing incest against his own daughter, Norton exploits Trueblood. In communist ideology, Norton would perhaps embody the evil, corrupt capitalist taking advantage of the working class.
However, Norton is not the total capitalist that he perhaps embodies. After Ivan
drops him off at his rooms on the campus, Norton defends the narrator against Dr. Bledsoe's attacks. Dr. Bledsoe, however, has his own designs, and even though he may appear as a friend of the worker, Bledsoe is the true capitalist robber-baron.

But I've made my place in it and I'll have every Negro in the country hanging on tree limbs if it means staying where I am. (Ellison 141).

Bledsoe states that he will not stop at anything to assert his own supremacy, even if it means stomping on his own race and setting back his people's cause for ages. He believes...

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